Saturday, 29 October 2016
It's always good to make plans and have things to look forward to and as a family we'd been making preparations to celebrate both Sarah and Rose's graduations this autumn. Yes, somehow, both girls have finished their studies at the same time. Obviously these events were always going to be very important to me - seeing the girls graduate was always going to be special, as I simply believed at some points when I was very sick that it would be something I wouldn't ever get to see. Those milestones become very significant when you fear that you may never reach them. They can give you the motivation, hope and drive to keep on overcoming the odds.
Sarah and Rose both started their studies during that long period of my illness and fight with Pulmonary Hypertension and during my transpant and recovery. Then over the years following my transplant, I've been able to see them both make their own direction in life, complete the studies they'd undertaken and grow in confidence and embark on new things. Being able to experience this and time with my family is the most wonderful part of having my transplant.
It feels like their graduation celebrations are a culmination of all the things we've been through together and successfully overcome - like they are celebrations about moving on and moving forward in life. This week, it was Sarah's graduation and although I'm not quite feeling my best at the moment, I was more than determined that we would carry on with the plans we'd made and that I'd go and see Sarah graduate. It felt too important to miss out on; it was one of those things that I always said I'd love to see when I was waiting for my transplant.
We had a lovely time and a wonderful morning at the ceremony and of course we were very proud parents amongst many other proud families enjoying moments with their loved ones. These moments are so precious. Sarah graduated with the Open University. She had worked full time while she undertook her diploma. Her next step is going to be motherhood, something completely different. For me, that means being a grandma - something I hadn't dared to hope for. We all have new adventures on the horizon, new experiences and new things to learn and do.
One of the lovely things at the ceremony was that there were people of all different ages celebrating their achievements with their families. There were young people and then people who were in their seventies who were graduating. It was very inspiring and a reminder that we are never too old to learn and embark on new things.
My next priority is to keep well enough to go to Rose's graduation, which is coming up soon. Until then it's plenty of rest, recuperation and hopefully feeling better.