Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Shouting it from the 7th Floor!

I ended my unexpectedly long stint in graduate school on the last day of March. I defended my dissertation, 

and I passed! I am done with school! Yippee!!! Well, actually, I still have some revisions to make and a paper to format, but really, the long, arduous days are behind me. The sleepless nights, the anxious spells, the crying fits, and the greatest test of faith ... they are all sweet to me on hindsight.

Of course, I did not embark on this journey alone. Zach was beside me all the way. I went everywhere I needed to go because I had Zach for company. I did the things I wouldn't normally have done because I had Zach with me. We made research trips together, he took me to present at conferences, I relied heavily on his keen eye and astute observations when we went to see Norman Lewis' paintings in person. We met friends of Lewis, curators, gallery owners, and art dealers. I bounced every idea I had off of Zach. Sometimes my talking would keep him up at night, other times, my logic (or lack thereof) would frustrate him. And Lord knows I tested his patience. But Zach was not only patient, he is also accommodating and forbearing. He inspired me and gave me new perspectives when I got stuck. He offered me not just his ear, but also his arms when I needed hugs of reassurance, his eyes when I overlooked small but critical aspects of Lewis' work, his voice when I didn't have one. He lent me his shoulders when I needed to cry, his heart when I needed courage. He gave me words when I had none left to write. Zach took care of me on days I did not leave the office. He made sure I ate well, and he enforced timeouts so my brain could recover. He never once complained, even though I am sure he was exhausted too. This dependable man of mine stood by me all the way. I am so thankful for him, and so humbled by his love.

These were the pictures I took from the examination room after everyone had left. I had a few quiet moments to myself before Zach came to pick me up. I shed some tears of relief. This dissertation has been weighing so heavily on my soul for so long. It was a weird feeling to have that cumbersome responsibility lifted.

I called my dad to share the good news. I told him I remembered how when I was younger, my grandfather once told me I would be a doctor. His fleeting but powerful words still resonate with me. My grandfather passed away in 2009. I hope this makes him proud.

1 comment:

Linda Owen said...

Mindy, I am so very proud and happy for you! Yay Zach for always being by your side and leading you to go forward. I think you are both amazing! Linda

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