“What are you doing next Sunday?” he asked.

I kept that note my son gave me a few weeks ago…https://lifeandwrite.com/2011/06/26/a-slight-grad-…empathetic-son/ ‎

But today the tears are from a different place, they fall furiously down my cheeks and onto the keyboard as I type, but they mean something different today as I write.

It’s been three long years… I started out as a single mother with two jobs who started graduate school with a passion, a drive to live out a dream for myself and my son. It was not clear how I would get through it but I started anyway, and one class at a time, one quarter at a time, I worked, on my classes, on myself, on my life.

Three long hard years later without a pause or one quarter off, I now have two sons, a life partner in my husband, a new direction. Life just changes so fast; you could blink and miss it. I have learned to accept that my life is complex, intertwined, and collaborative. I love what I do—arts, education, writing, working with youths and teachers, working in museums, creating programming, working in the community. I’ve enjoyed every moment of joy and madness with the loves in my life. Those guys (Alfonso, Mason, and Rafael) in my house keep me going. I think about it all now, three years later, and know more than ever, this was all worth it.

Two weeks ago when my advisor said he didn’t know if I could get my thesis draft into shape in time enough to graduate knocked the wind out of me, and the exhaustion I felt caused me to pause, regroup, and get back to work. There is something greater than me in control of this situation.

After that academic blow, I wrote, and wrote for hours. I closed the door to my room; I sat at the computer all night before and after work each day. I just kept writing. By the middle of the week I turned in another draft to my advisor and waited.

I could barely sleep, until today, I was taking a short nap, when the phone rang. “What are you doing next Sunday?” my advisor asked.

And with a short pause, I answered with slight hesitation, “Graduating?”

“Yes,” he said.



  1. I know I’m late…but loved it! Great Inspirational life story!! Congratulations! (hold on let me add a few more exclamation points) Congratulations!!!!

    1. LOL. Thank you Joey (big smile and lots of exclamations points)!!!!!! :) I’ve been humbled and inspired by this entire experience but I’m better on the other side of it. Blessings…

  2. Tears are also about to fall down my face!!!!!! This is great Monday morning news!!! I am sooooooooooo proud of you! You are a truly an inspiration to all!! We have to get together to celebrate! Luv u “D”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Hard earned and so well deserved. Generations of children will benefit from your brilliance! Let’s celebrate before Zulal heads to SC. Congratulations! Antonia ;)

  4. . . . dionne you made my today, the best news I have ever heard recently. Congratulations (to alll of you:)))))))) I am sooooo proud of you.

Have a comment or reply?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s