May 18, 2007
This was the day we looked forward to for three years. This day was the reason we moved almost 800 miles almost four years ago. This day was the reason I tiptoed around in our marriage the past three years so as not to disturb the learning process. Most of all though, this was the day my husband had been working like a dog for, for three grueling years. Really. I know how hard he worked and how much he sacrificed for this day.
The day before we attended a reception to honor top scholars. He was THE top scholar in the UNR MBA graduate program, summa cum laude with a 4.0. It was a proud day.
May 18 though was THE day. I carefully ironed his gown and he carefully hung it in the car. We left in plenty of time to make it to the graduation ceremony, find a parking space and assemble with the other members of the graduating class for advanced degrees at 4:00 p.m. for the the processional at 4:30. About halfway there the freeway traffic slowed to a standstill.
"Oh, no!" I said.
The traffic would creep forward a car length or two and stop.
"Probably an accident." one of us said. We began to talk about the last time we were stuck on I-80 like this. It took us over 3 hours to get off the freeway. As the minutes ticked by and it was closer and closer to 4:00 p.m. we began to lament.
"The Lord does not mean for me to get there on time," my husband said.
"I wonder what He's trying to tell you," I said. And my husband laughed, I guess cause I say that a lot.
At four my husband called work wife, who was waiting at the UNR quadrangle, to let her know that we were stuck in traffic on I 80. While he was talking the traffic started moving better and then the reason for the delay was apparent. A wildfire had swept across the hills threatening to cross the freeway. We joined her after the ceremony had already begun.
I can count on my fingers the times in my life that I felt as badly as I did sitting there next to my husband listening to them not announce his name, not seeing him cross the stage in the cap, gown and hood that had been so carefully tended to and that he was so proud of (tears are falling right now remembering the sadness). It was torture and I wanted to run away, so I can't imagine how much harder it was for him to sit there next to me. It was supposed to be such a joyous, proud event. As soon as the last graduate had crossed the stage I turned to my husband and announced his name, Master of Business Administration, summa cum laude, and applauded for him. He still graduated of course, but, the parade was rained on big time. Coincidentally, while walking on the sidewalk back to the parking garage the sprinklers came on and doused us. It kinda broke the morbid tension too.
We, all three the graduate, his wife and his work wife went out to a lovely place for dinner. You know where there are white table clothes so I can drip balsamic vinegar on it from dipping wonderful herb crusty chewy bread in it. I had three delicious huge (no really huge) prawns wrapped in prosciutto, grilled, stood with tails in the air in yummy garlic mashed potatoes finished with a heavenly creamy cheesy wine sauce, green beans and those skinny little 3" carrots that they leave part of the tops on. The graduate had a unique chicken Parmesan and work wife had lasagna (which is what I think we actually all wanted), which came with separate pieces of the best Italian sausage (she gave me a bite) I have ever eaten. We all passed on dessert.
We able to laugh about it today and I suggested what he might be meant to learn from this experience. I know, I know, I shouldn't have, but bad habits are hard to break. When he went off to work this evening he took stuff to work on a resume' during his breaks. So, all is well now and I am looking forward to reconnecting to my husband now that I don't have to worry about the learning process anymore, but, darn I sure wished it hadn't happened this way.