Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy New Year?

Yeah, it's February 20. I know.

So, some terrible things and some great things have happened since I last blogged.

First, the terrible, so I can end on a happy note. My stepdad (who is just my dad, since 1980; I've never called him stepdad, because my biological dad passed away when I was just a baby), got cancer. They found it in the colon when he had a colonoscopy mid-November because of some abdominal discomfort he'd been having for a few weeks. When they went in to remove the tumor, the surgeon discovered there was already fluid building up around his organs, and tumors everywhere. Talk about shocking news. A mere two months prior, my dad had ridden his mountain bike from their house (Southport area) all the way to OUR house (Hawktree area).

After one doctor told us there was no hope and we should just go home and have hospice care, we got a different oncologist who was ready to help fight it. Unfortunately, we never got to that point, and Dad passed away three weeks after the surgery. It was the day after his birthday, and only my mom, brother and I were at his side. I don't want to go into much detail beyond that, because it's a very personal and private thing. But I will just say - being present at someone's passing out of this world is both the most awful thing I've been through, yet I feel so honored to have been a part of it, and wouldn't want it any other way.

You add that to the fact that my dad's mom passed away 5 weeks before, and his dad passed away a few weeks ago, and it's been a rough few months.

So, onto the good stuff?

After several weeks of phone calls and emails shared with Concordia, I finally got my B. A.! How did this happen, 15 years after actually going through graduation? Well... I failed a class senior year, so I never technically got my degree (even though I possess a signed diploma.. hmm). It was Physics: The Science of Sound. Concordia axed the class as a requirement for a music education major in 1997. I graduated in 1996. So, yes - I should've argued this point right after graduation, had them move my grad date to 1997, and moved on with my life, owning my degree. But.. I didn't. Fast forward to January, and during my time off, I called them. She had the Education and Music departments each review my transcript, and - long story short - I was awarded my B. A. last week.

Also, Adam received his First Degree Black Belt Recommended in Taekwondo last week! Here he is:

Recommended black belt means he's not a black belt yet. His belt is half red, half back. He has around 6 months to a year until he earns black belt, and even then it's completely dependent upon how hard he works. If you slack off, it'll take you a couple of years; if you show up for every class and really work, you'll earn it in 6 months.

Which is a nice segue into other news: Mason and I have started Taekwondo too! He looks so cute in his little uniform - it's hard to believe Adam was ever that little, but he must have been, since it's his old uniform.

The winter weather is still craptacular, I hope this is our last winter storm of the season. But I'm really NOT counting on it!


Megan said...

I am so sorry it has been such a rough time. I just can't imagine dealing with so much all at once.

That is fantastic that you have your degree officially! I bet that feels fantastic! Cute pic of Adam and congrats to you and Mason for starting!

*Lissa* said...

You have been through so much lately. You are a beautiful woman and I admire your strength!

WOOOOOT for your B.A.! Want to celebrate? :)

You are taking TKD? FUN!

Jen said...

Thanks, Meg! And thanks, Lissa! I definitely think we need to go celebrate that. Girls night fo' sho'.

Yes I am taking TKD. Fun.. maybe. Right now I'm mostly exhausted and sore, LOL. The warmup in the beginning of class is exactly like Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. No kidding. **passing out**