Last night, my wife walked across the stage at the commencement exercises for Texas Woman’s University. In one hand, she gripped tightly her earned masters degree. Once she takes her board exams (which she undoubtedly ace), she’ll be licensed as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Her other hand, the one not clutching the diploma, was empty, which served as ironic symbolism of the hands-full reality she’s experienced the past three years.
A commencement is the end of one thing and the beginning of another. We don’t know what the future holds. Her beginning is just starting and the full story not yet written. It will involve helping people. Her calling and ministry will be realized, somehow. Details forthcoming.
What we do know is what is ending…
It has been a long row to hoe, as they say, and few people could manage it without going nuts. Her sanity was tested at times, for sure. Working and studying and practicing and adulting almost got the best of my bride more than once. But she persevered. She won.
Kari — 1
Grad School — 0
Does my chest puff out in pride at the thought of it? Of course! But this isn’t about me. It’s about a real-deal Superwoman. That graduation robe doubles as a cape. Around our house, we call it a “Crushin’ It” cape.
The girl crushed it, you guys.
What drove my wife to all this was the sense that there were a lot of people out there who weren’t getting the help they needed. After visiting the Dominican Republic with our church she determined to receive more training so that she could help people better. Yes, they live in far-off villages in third world countries. But they also live in affluent communities like ours in Katy, Texas and in every community in the nation. Inner cities, rural farm towns, Native American reservations, and cushy suburbs. Beneath the broken healthcare system lies the rubble of the human condition. Some people get left out. Those are the people my wife’s heart beats for.
Some view nursing as a profession.
For my wife, it’s a ministry.
I blog about a lot of stuff. But I wanted to devote 400 words or so to my amazing spouse who has devoted about a bajillion hours to sharpening the tools in her toolbox so that the least of these can experience care, love, and hope in the middle of their pain.
I’m proud of you, darlin’.
Kari clowning with her good buddy, T-Lu