"Have a great summer A'Driane. It was a real pleasure having you in class, " he said as I turned in my scantron answer sheet. 32 minutes.
That's all the time it took for me to answer 200 questions about the Pentateuch, thank my professor for expanding my knowledge about the first 5 books of the Bible, and hit the door.
A crisp late morning spring breeze greeted me as I burst out the door into the glowing sunlight. It lifted the stress and frustration of research papers, presentations, projects, reading assignments, and final exams that had been piling up on my shoulders like pollen the past 7 weeks, and blew it all far away from where I stood in the parking lot, my face turned toward the sun.
I stood there, in silence, slowly letting the stress of the semester dissipate into the cool morning air, breathing in the sweet fragrance of newly cut grass and soaking in the reality of what lay in front of me:
No more assignments.
No more stuffy classrooms.
No more deadlines.
No more trying to balance motherhood with the rigorous demands of a 15 credit semester while battling my way to recovery.
I was finished.
It was over.
I had spent weeks praying I'd make it to that moment and there it was, greeting me with outstretched arms.
The whirlwind that has been my life for the last 7 weeks ended as abruptly as it began as I sat there trying to wrap my mind around all that's taken place during that time.
Good things...so many good and wonderful things have happened the past 7 weeks. There have been difficult moments...there has been pain...there have tears....there has been sadness...but there has been restoration...there has been joy...there has been LIFE breathed back into my soul...there has been laughter and excitement...there has been change.
So much has changed for me this semester....and I'm finally free to write about all of it.
When I got in the truck, I initially thought I'd go home and write this very post, starting to fill you all in on what's been going on in my world as of late, maybe even write a triumphant, "I made it through the semester!' kind of post...as soon as I started driving though, I knew I needed to do more to celebrate this achievement...and I knew I couldn't do it alone.
So I went home and grabbed the three most important men in my life: Brennan, Alex, and Bertski...and hit the road to Atlantic City.
Beach. Boardwalk. (a little) Gambling. Toddler Mayhem. Sing-a-longs in the car. Hugs. Kisses. Meltdowns. Starbucks. Running after two boys hopped up on sugar as they tear through the Taj Mahal. Laughter. The sand soft and warm under my feet. Teaching Brennan how to splash in the ocean without drowning. Listening to Alex scream at seagulls as he chases them down the boardwalk.
Today we celebrated the end of one chapter and began writing the opening lines to a new one...Today we greeted what lies ahead of us with open arms.
Here's to our new beginning :)