Do you ever sit and let yourself remember the past? Sometimes in the peacefulness of the day, do you ever stop and think about something that happened months or years ago? Or better yet do you ever have things that stop you in your tracks because it brings back memories of some event? For some reason today memories was constantly on my mind. Maybe it is because an end to a big thing is coming closer…graduation marks two things… the end of a journey and the beginning of a new one.  It is a sad thing (for those special people like me who LOVE to study) and a happy thing (no more late nights of studying or weekends taken up with writing papers etc).

While I know my journey won’t end next month as I still have 9hrs to do this summer, the reality of getting my degree conferred still brings with it some finality. Yet at the same time I can’t help but remember!

I think of my first semester in graduate school, fall 2008, that year will never be forgotten. I had just graduated in December 2007 and life was supposed to be great. Just getting out of college and starting to work at SHSU as a staff member. BUT (yes there is always a but) life had started to change when one week after I graduated college I got a phone call from my father telling me it would be his last Christmas and that I needed to go home and be with my family. The joy of graduation was short lived. I remember that last Christmas, we tried to be happy and make some memories but I won’t lie there were more tears than laughter.

Dad barely made it through the early spring months, the loss of a parent shatters the world you know. Mostly because they are the constant in your life, you can lose friends, struggle in a class, fight with a sibling or have a flat tire but there is usually that one person that you know you can always call. For most people that is their parents, usually mom or dad (sometimes both).

Losing a parent at 19 felt like I had been cheated out of something I was owed, my father would not watch me graduate with a master’s degree or a ph.d. (something I still want to do), he would not walk me down the aisle at my wedding, and he would not hold my children.  I withdrew from the classes during my post-bac. semester and then I took the summer to finish up the “I’s” I had taken.

I fought within myself about whether I was ready to take on the task of starting graduate school.  Was I emotionally ready? Was I academically ready? Not knowing the answer to either of those two questions I started anyways, if nothing else to take up some of the time I spent thinking (and crying). I was stretched like never before my first semester of graduate school. I remember my first syllabus… I looked at it and went “they expect me to read all of that”…”well then how am I supposed to sleep.” Oh and trust me that first semester I was getting 3-5 (on a good day)hrs of sleep a night. I was soooo drained but through God’s grace I survived undergrad statistics and I passed my first two graduate classes with flying colors.

I can say for a fact that throughout out my graduate career, the Lord has walked with me every step. The courses that I literally pulled my hair out, wanted to throw my computer out the window, cried and cried over …regardless the Lord’s peace would come. He would give me the strength  to type those 20-30 page papers! I could not have done that without him. I could not imagine starting a program with out the Lord being by my side!

More memories soon!

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