My Darling Graduate,
It’s hard to believe that after five and a half years we made. There doesn’t seem to be enough words to fully describe this journey I have watched unfold… But I will try.
For the last five and a half years I have had a front-row view of this rollercoaster ride. When we started this journey in 2014 our oldest was only 8months old and I was coming out of the first trimester with our second. Newly diagnosed with HG and had a host of other complications. We knew we needed to somehow make more money to help with our growing family. But I was sick, very sick, so it fell on you. After applying for part-time jobs and not having any luck you decided to utilize your GI bill and start your bachelor’s degree. It wasn’t a dream, it was a necessity. After several tests, you landed in the field of education. The next two years brought two new babies, buying and selling a house, a very sick wife with numerous hospital visits, caring for your family, working full time, and in school full-time online. Not to mention a broken knee cap. You were burned out and exhausted.
After that burn out you decided to try someone you might actually enjoy. In fall 2016 you transferred to a local (well an hour away!) university to learn more about the field of aviation. You did odd jobs to help provide and started school again full-time as well as hours and hours of flight training. And we found we’re expecting another baby – surprise! Four babies in under 3.5 years. It was a hard season walking away from full-time work, but God provided in so many miraculous ways. Like friends gifting us a car that is still kicking! You earned your private pilot license and I got to see you fly!
After a year of studying Aviation, our funds were running low and tragedy struck. You had already decided to go for a flight dispatching course in the fall of 2017 in Florida but what we didn’t know was God was calling my daddy home. We got the call about the accident and without hesitation, you gave up everything. You didn’t finish the second certification you were so close to getting. It didn’t matter you prioritized me, and my family. You moved us to Florida so we could be together, and grieve. And somehow in the midst of a house full of grief you studied and was tied for first in your class for dispatch course. After applying to almost one hundred positions the door closed again and God called us back to Delaware.
The year of 2018 was the only time you were not in school full-time. We had just moved back and our heads were spinning and if we’re being fully transparent our hearts were broken. We had four kids four and under, little work and had so many closed doors. That year would only bring some more lows and closed doors, crazy schedules and pieced together work. Finishing school didn’t seem possible, we were just trying to get through the day. But things slowly stabilized and the only thing that made sense next was to finish your degree, in anything really, just finish.
In January 2019, you were back at it. Back studying the field of education, working full-time and going to school full-time. The kicker this time was it had to be the heaviest school load you’ve ever done or you would not have enough funding before the GI bill ran out. I remember sitting next to you looking at what the schedule would have to be and freaking out internally. And mustering up some lame pep talk like “at least I’m not sick this time, the kids are bigger, it’ll be a little easier!” Total baloney. I was also working two nights a week where you had to watch four toddlers while studying. Yeah, the two do NOT go together. It wasn’t easier, but you were even stronger and more determined. You even started to develop a passion for the field. And – YOU DID IT!
I sit here with tears of relief, pride, and thankfulness flowing. There is so much about you I didn’t know about when we started this journey two years into our marriage.
I didn’t know your brain was so mathematical. You’ve exceeded in all your classes but particularly in anything to do with mathematics. It’s proof opposites do attract.
I didn’t know you were such a deep writer. I know you will laugh at this one. You HATED all your papers, discussion boards, etc. But you are a really good writer. You are precise and calculated. There isn’t any extra fluff, it’s solid and worth reading. It reflects you.
I didn’t know you were so resilient. Only I know the intimate details of this journey. How deeply weary you’ve been, the stress and disappointments you’ve been through. The heartbreak. But still, you rise.
We must give praise to who praise is due. The Lord has gifted you, lead you, sustained you, and blessed you. I don’t fully understand all the ins and outs of what has happened but He is good. He holds your future and has a plan. This passage reminds me of you.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
I am so blessed to be your wife. I knew I was marrying a winner but over that last few years and trials life has thrown at you I have been blown away more than once by your character. Thank you for commitment to our family, school, and the Lord. I am thankful that when our kids are bigger and I get to share with them the amazing accomplishment this is. They are blessed to have a father like you. I am looking to having study free weekends, evenings where you aren’t working on projects or taking tests. Even still, I wouldn’t trade it. I have fallen even more in love with you. So let me scream this from the rooftops (also known as social media!) CONGRATULATIONS!!!
With all my love,
The wife & your biggest fan.