For three and a half years he went to school full-time, even taking summer classes, and working full-time. He had a wife and kids at home that demanded a lot of him too.
Some days he got up early in the morning to study, spent the day at school and the night at work. Some days he put his schoolwork aside for family time when he should have been studying, because he knew we needed him .
He still managed to maintain a 3.5 grade point average.
It would have been easier if he’d finished school 15 years ago. But it was never the right time; there was never enough money or there was never enough time.
Then in 2010 it was the right time.
He studied music the first time he went college. Earning a business degree this time around was 180 degree shift. He had to start over almost completely since a lot of his old credit hours didn’t transfer.
There were weeks it seemed like the boys and I never saw him. I grew weary of dinners without him. I hated putting the boys to bed at night by myself.
Sometimes at night the boys asked, “Where’s Daddy? Why’s he at school again? Why’s he working again?”
My answer was always the same, “Because he’s doing it for us.”
And it was the truth.
He didn’t go back to school to fulfill some dream of intellectual superiority. It wasn’t to stroke his ego, or because of ambitious aspirations.
It was simply to make a better future for us, his family.
And that’ s why he put in the early mornings and the late nights and kept going even when he was weary.
I know there were days he was exhausted, but he didn’t quit.
Even his little boys saw and understood the effort it took. I don’t think they could be taught a better lesson about hard work and perseverance.
So on Saturday afternoon, two squirmy little boys and I sat for two hours with behinds numb from the uncomfortable bleachers, and hearts full of pride, as Daddy walked across the stage to accept his well-deserved diploma.
And it is a Big Deal.