Thursday, May 23, 2013

Courtney's Graduation

This past Sunday, May 19, 2013 Courtney graduated from Hofstra University. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, with Honors and was selected for Phi Beta Kappa. I could not be more proud of her accomplishments and only wish that she felt just as proud of herself.
The weekend was filled with different ceremonies for each of her awards and while I knew Mike was with us in spirit celebrating the moment, I could not help but become emotional knowing he was not physically with us.  Courtney had mentioned that he had not been with us at other milestones, but I felt it very differently. Even though he had been unable to speak and could not attend functions, at the end of the day I was still able to go home to him and share the details. It kept him "involved" and allowed me to share the accomplishments of our children with my husband. On this very important day, I missed him terribly. I kept replaying the day of Courtney's birth in my mind and how SO very proud he was to be a father and how much he looked forward to seeing them both  grown up. Like other parents, we often wondered what our children would want to do when they "grew up", what profession they would choose and how they chose to live their lives. Mike had lost his parents at a reasonably young age (23 and 25) and he wanted to be THE BEST parent ever to his children. He wanted so desperately to be there for them. All this was running through my mind as I watched Courtney walk across the stage to graduate.
I could not have been more proud of her. Despite all the nights she spent at the hospital with Mike, all the time she helped care for him, all the time her mind was elsewhere as she watched Mike's health decline, she still excelled in college. She could have very easily gone down the "poor me" road and given up trying, but she didn't. I guess it was much like our attitude in caring for Mike at home. It could have been much easier had we made another decision, but that was a road we chose not to take. There were days when it was beyond anything we could have ever imagined, when we fought to hold it all together, but we continued to push forward and fight.
I am so proud of both my childen and can't wait to see what the future holds for them. 

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Esther Wang, Caring Across said...

Hi Karen,

My name is Esther and I am with an organization called Caring Across Generations – we are a movement of caregivers and family members who are coming together to change our nation's culture around aging and caregiving. I have been reading your blog and I think that you have a beautiful story to share about your husband Mike and caregiving.

I wanted to ask if you would partner with Caring Across for our upcoming Grandparents Day campaign (Grandparents Day will be on Sunday, September 8). Through this campaign, we hope to honor and celebrate grandparents and to facilitate cultural change that will enable families to open up the conversation around aging and care.

We are relying on grandparents and caregivers like you to help us spread the word about Grandparents Day and to share your own stories with us. Between August 22 and September 8, we would like to ask you to:

Write a blog post about your grandparent, or about your experience as a grandparent. Possible topics are: a fond memory or a funny story about your grandparent, or lessons and advice from grandparents to their children or grandchildren.
• Please send me an email at esther@caringacrossgenerations.org when you publish your GP Day blog post so that I can make sure to share it on the Caring Across website!

Tweet or post on Facebook using the hashtag #granecdote. We hope to collect thousands of stories about grandparents by tracking the #granecdote hashtag. Here are some sample tweets/posts:
• Just sent a postcard to grandma for #GrandparentsDay for free! Create & send your personalized card at caringacross.org/gpday!
• [Insert story about or advice from grandparent] #granecdote Share yours at caringacross.org/gpday!

We will happily share your blog post and #granecdotes through Caring Across' social media channels, as well as host your blog post on our site!

To learn more about us, check out the Caring Across website and facebook page. Our Grandparents Day landing page (caringacross.org/gpday) will launch on August 22nd. Please feel free to reach out with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you and collaborating for Grandparents Day!

Best,
Esther

Kim said...

HI Karen

I have just been reading several of your posts after seeing a link to your blog from someone on my friends list (on Facebook).
My mother has Alzheimers, and I have found it so helpful to read your posts. I too have a blog (private at the moment) which I kind of use for the same purpose.

Thanks for letting me read xx