Thursday, 27 November 2014

Reflections and Gratitude

I hope I don't ramble here. Today was jam-packed. It was graduation day! Matthew and I went our separate ways in the morning, me to UBC to get my regalia on, and Matthew to the East Side to collect Gramma and Jessie.

That's right, Sister Jessie is visiting!!

I remember my last graduation, in the middle of a work day, struggling to get across town in terrible weather, and struggling to see the point of graduating at all. This convocation was much closer to the actual finish-time of my degree, so it was easier to see the ceremony as a natural end-point.

I met with a really lovely fellow English Department alum, Emily, in the Regalia lounge, and we pinned each others' gowns on, took photos, and paraded together. It didn't rain, and in fact at the moments of our parade, it was even a bit sunny. We recognised some friendly English Faculty faces on stage, and it felt satisfying to be witnessed by them.
Thanks to Emily and her lovely husband for this photo!

I want to write another post on Graduation Proper, when I have some more photos to share. But after the ceremony, I was whisked by Matthew, Gramma and Jessie to the VanDusen Gardens restaurant, where we were met by all my aunts. We had a beautiful lunch, and then went to Gramma's house for a rich and delicious tuxedo cake with raspberries on top, and a well-deserved cup of tea.

This post feels like a good place to try and express my gratitude. The degree took a lot longer than anyone expected. For Gramma and my aunts to mark out time to celebrate the occasion, especially in such a busy time as the lead-up to the festive season, means so much to me. I am thankful for their generosity of lunch and cake, and for being so supportive over so many years. I moved to Vancouver to do this degree and to be near to my family, and now my degree is over I am so grateful for the great constant that is family.

I understand Jessie's visit here as an early Christmas present for us all, but also something of a personal graduation present for me, so I am very grateful that she could be there to see the ceremony, see the campus at its most authentic (cloudy, chilly, windy, full of puddles), and shower me in flowers and good cheer.

Lastly, there can never be too many or too frequent thanks for Matthew, who with great integrity and patience has supported me emotionally and financially through this degree. Even just graduation day itself would not have happened had Matthew not bolted out of bed before sunrise and driven across the city to get our loved ones for the occasion. All morning he drove us around, and he always offered an arm to hang on to. Thank you, my love.

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