This is a post I've been meaning to write for a few weeks now but I've put it off because I don't feel up to the task. Its hard to think that mere words can convey the depth of my gratitude to all those who have helped me or inspired me to finally graduate. But, they need to be said so here goes.
First of all I have to thank my Aunt Colleen. She, and others, might be surprised to find herself on this list but she was truly my inspiration to go back to school. Colleen herself gained her teaching credentials just a few years ago and when I saw her do it I thought to myself, well, if she can go back to college then certainly I can too. So, Colleen, a big fat THANK YOU for providing me the inspiration to get back on the horse and finish. Without your example, I truly don't think I would have ever had the courage to go back. Also, thanks for watching Conor. :)
Next I have to thank my Dad and Diana who not only provided moral support and unwavering encouragement (they also stroked my ego when I got good grades) but they financed all of my schooling prior to my return to PSU. Meaning they paid for 2 years of Community College credits that were spread over at least 5 years, at least 2 D's and definitely 1 F. They also paid for parking passes, textbooks, and took vacation days to watch Conor when I was in a pinch. Because of their financial support my student debt level is HALF of what it could have (should have) been. So, D & D, THANK YOU! Not only for always believing that I could do it, but showing your belief in such tangible ways.
I also owe a huge debt (ha ha, get it?) of gratitude to Mom and Art. Mom especially always squealed when I did well in school and, silly as it sounds, it felt really good to be squealed over. Mom also provided countless free babysitting hours, picked Conor up at school when he was sick and they couldn't get a hold of me and always told me how proud she was of me. Additionally, and no small potatoes either, Mom and Art paid for day care for Conor for the entire 18 months I was in school. On top of that, they wrote the checks to me and then I paid day care so I got the tax write off. Serious big deal here. So, Mom and Art, THANK YOU for providing a safe place for Conor to go while I went and schooled myself. Poor Art was probably thinking, hey! I've only been in the family two years, why do I get stuck footing the bill! :) (just kidding)
Papa. I have to thank Papa for always knowing I could do this even though I didn't end up finishing until 9 years after he died. I like to think that he's up in Heaven and tickled pink.
And finally, and most importantly, Morgan. (oh no, I'm tearing up, I'm not sure I can get through this. Ok, deeep breath) Morgan, who has sacrificed so, so, SO much allowing me to not work so that I could stay home with Conor and go to school. He has stood, unwaveringly, by my side every. darn. step of the way, and even when he was laid off and money was tight, tight, tight, he never asked me to quit school. Even when I was frustrated and discouraged and probably pretty insane, he never once even insinuated that I should quit or that my lack of employment was too much. His steadfast support has been remarkable and I can't believe how lucky I am. He didn't even blink when I told him I wanted to go back to school. He just looked at me, smiled and said "Ok, babe, you can do it." Just like that. Amazing. When I say I couldn't have done this without him, I mean I literally could not have done this without him. I wouldn't have gone back, I wouldn't have persevered, I wouldn't have finished. I owe it all to Morgan, every last little bit of it. So, Morgan, thank you is just the tip of the iceberg. Those two words don't describe the immeasurable ways you have supported me, loved me and kept me from losing my sh*t over the last two years. I love you so much I can hardly stand it.
And, if I didn't mention you by name, please know that the support of my friends and family has been so...amazing...remarkable...I need a better thesaurus because I don't have the words. Real, real good is what I'm sayin'. So, to you, thanks. I mean it.