No. I was simply digging deep and trying to finish strong at the end of this collegiate marathon.
I wrote my thesis and finished my last 2 classes this summer and on August 2nd, I walked up to get my BS in English & Professional Communications.
Magna Cum Laude.
With High Honors.
Not only did I get my degree, but I had Joan Jett with me. See?
Better than getting my degree was having my friends and family there to support me and celebrate with me.
When I remember coming out of the closet and being afraid to leave my life and start being my authentic self, my parents were my biggest supporters. They have always encouraged me in everything that I have done.
When my heart was broken, my parents literally grieved with me. They felt the loss. They also had to listen to endless, tearful stories of a lot of the drama that was unfolding around me. But they kept me on my path.
Around this time last year, my dad got sick with a brain tumor. It was the worst diagnosis and it was a year of difficulty like I've never had in my life. But again, my parents have been my biggest source of inspiration.
They work together and my dad is still going strong. He is kicking the ass of this tumor as we all expected him to and my mom is solidly by his side, taking care of his every need. They are facing this with the same sense of loyalty and love that they have demonstrated to each other for their more than 36 years together.
In fact, I have always held their marriage in the highest regard. It was always something that I wanted for myself. I have longed for such a connection with someone that it would just get stronger and stronger and I would feel completely safe.
In my mind, this was an attainable thing. But the older I get, the more I realize that what they have is the rarest thing in the world. (And the most beautiful). It's likely not for me, but I still feel so lucky to have been a witness to their love story.
When my ceremony was over and I got to walk down onto the floor to see my people, I saw my proud father look over at me smiling. I had to swallow and re-swallow the biggest lump in my throat as I bent over to feel his embrace.
This was not just my victory. It was his, too. He worked very hard to be there for me like he always is for everything. My son captured the moment, although the feelings could not be recorded. If photos could say what was in my heart, this computer screen would not be big enough to hold it.