Perseverance: Continuing in a course of action without regard to discouragement, opposition or previous failure.
|Walking the Walk|
3,794,928 people will turn 60 this year, of that 3.8 million only an incredibly small portion will also graduate from College... My Mom, Pat, will be one of the few that fall in both categories. Now this isn't the first college degree she has attained. The first was received in 1977. But to fully appreciate the dedication it required to get both of these degrees we have to start in 1975.
In 1975 Mom was pregnant with my bother, I mean Brother, (who I shall refer to as Dork) when she decided to apply to the inaugural class of a new nursing program. My Mom knew it would be difficult to get into this program because it was new and A LOT of people wanted to be a part of the program. So she decided to apply the first year, believing she didn't have the 'experience' to make the list the first year. But with high hopes of getting accepted the following year. This would have been ideal because the Dork would be 1-ish if she was accepted year two and this would give her more time to get motherhood and wife-hood under her belt prior to going back to school.
|Mom at her first Graduation in 1977|
Hehehe....Life has a frightening sense of humor....
|Mom and Dad smooth sailing....|
1978 came, as did I, and went as did the next 33 years...
|Me, Mom and Dork in Maine|
Over those years she worked her way through the ranks of nursing while finding her niche, in the OR. Then she worked her way to the top of that niche, and became the Director of Surgical Services and the President of East Tennessee Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN). This would satisfy most, but, she longed for one more thing. The one thing that two children and life had caused her to postpone over and over. Her Bachelor's Degree.
Today, May 5th 2012, you will graduate for a second time, this time at the top of your class. This time, the small people demanding your attention were your grandchildren. The lack of sleep wasn't from an infant, it was from the stresses of a full time Management position, where your performance affects the livelihood of others. This time, you had something more than pushy children and exhaustion...this time you had an aging and ailing parent who also needed you. So, to say the stresses were many, is to put it lightly. Yet, once again you powered through and never quit. Even when you wanted to quit, you stuck with it. You persevered to the finish, your 2nd college graduation, the one you did for you. I am so proud!!! You are an amazing woman and have taught me life isn't easy, BUT it is mine and, therefore, my responsibility to make it what I want!
|Me and My Mom|
Thank you for being you and being a wonderful example of beauty and grace in the light of stress and chaos.
I love you and I am SO proud of you!!