I realize this is slightly late, but I haven't been able to figure out our new camera to post pictures on here, and I figured that pictures are a huge part of this story. So, I broke down and asked my hubby to please upload the pictures onto the computer and viola, there they are.
I think after so much hard work it is difficult to put into words the emotions and feelings of accomplishment I have from graduating. I will try.
I had a goal and I worked very diligently to achieve it. I was a Summa Cum Laude which means that I was able to keep my gpa quite high (4.0-3.6 throughout my whole college career). I fought to make this happen. I had to take night classes one at a time for many semesters because it was too expensive to go full time, and we are apart of the wonderful middle class who generally doesn't qualify for any funding. I did the pay as you go route. It is a long a tedious route. At the beginning of my college career, someone told me that 10 years would go by and I could either chip away at my degree and accomplish it slowly, or I could wait and hope that I would get the time and money to go full time and I might not actually do it at all. Either way, 10 years would go by. It was my choice to do what I wanted to do, or not. I chose to do it.
In these last 7 years of school, I went through life events--a newly wed, working full time, pregnancy (taking a semester off while I recovered from child birth), the near death experience of my sister-in-law, the death of my brother, the death of my grandma, my husband being sent to Air Force training for 2 instances for months at a time, figuring out childcare that benefited both my child and our financial pocketbook, working & being a mom & finally getting to go to school full time, and another pregnancy. It has been a long road and I have felt like quitting many times. I didn't. I don't really blame anyone who does quit, but I wonder if I can get through all the stuff I did while going to school and earning good grades, why do some people give up? I don't know. I do know, that bred in me, the blood from my dad and mom's family says to never, never, never give up. And, so I didn't.
Those closest to me celebrated and cheered me on while I walked across the stage and accepted my diploma. My husband and small son, my brother (who was in junior high when I started and now just completed his sophomore year of college), my parents, and close friends. I could not have done this without the support and encouragement I got from all of them. (I am also thankful that a community college opened so I could afford to go full time!)
I was blown away at my parents, who flew my brother Colin, from New York, to see me graduate. He was here for 1 day. It was the most meaning surprise and gift I could have ever asked for. It is a moment in time I will always cherish. Because of the loss of our older sibling, there is always a hole in our family-- Nate (my older deceased brother) would have been here and I was feeling his loss so much. I really wanted Colin to be here, but New York is so very far away I knew there was no chance he would be able to come. When he stepped into my house it was almost like magic. I know Nate was somewhere close watching, because the gaping hole was not present that weekend. I have never felt so loved.