My daughter finished the last assessment for her diploma today. She'll graduate in July. I'm so incredibly proud of her I can't hold the smiles in.
It hasn't been easy for her. The journey has been seven and a half years long. During her first year (she was 18) her best friend was kidnapped and murdered. During the 14 months that followed we lost nine close friends and family. She tried to keep going through it all but within six months dropped out of college. I'm surprised she lasted that long - and she was still achieving good grades.
Last year she went back and re-enrolled, knowing she'd be going to all the places she and her friend used to be, knowing she'd be studying the same course in the same rooms. It wasn't an easy decision to make. Add to that her uncertainty that she could finish it at all and it was incredibly brave. And today she finished the last assessment of the last subject and knows she passed.
She rang me at work, but I don't carry my phone there. She messaged me, and rang me after work. I could hear her jumping around as she spoke to me. The smile on her face was a tangible thing even though I couldn't see her. She dropped into my place when I told her I was coming home for a few minutes before I went to uni, just so she could smile at me and give me a hug - oh, and eat the pumpkin soup and cake she found in the fridge (she'd forgotten to have lunch). When she left she took a pile of books with her - she hasn't been able to read much while she's been studying.
We're going out to dinner tomorrow night to celebrate. I can't wait. I want another glimpse of the joy in her face.