ONCE UPON A TIME
In a land far, far away…or at least that’s how all good stories should start, right? It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated. There’s plenty to tell. So grab a cup of coffee or maybe an iced tea or a Diet Coke, sit back and get ready to read away.
June 13th was an amazing day for me! I got to return to Boise for the first time so I could watch my friends graduate from the Master’s program we had all enrolled in a year and a half earlier. I had been looking forward to this for months and even caught myself smiling as my plane was landing. I was thrilled when they invited me to join in the class picture; little did I know I would be stunned later (in a good way, of course).
I had talked with the program director several weeks before graduation and let her know how proud I was of the cohort and all of their hard work. I had spoken with several cohort friends and knew just how much time and energy they were putting into their work. Not only that, many of them took time out of their days to stay in contact with me and my treatment progress. THESE 25 PEOPLE ARE TRULY AMAZING. I wanted to hand them roses as they came across the stage to receive their diplomas.
What happened next had me cracking up. We stopped on the way to Boise State to pick up the flowers, I even counted them to make sure there were enough. S there I sat in the audience waiting patiently for my friends to take their place in line. I unwrapped the flowers only to realize that the 30 flowers on TOP equated to 10 flowers on BOTTOM. The stems ran together! I looked at my Idaho mom sitting next to me in horror and said “Quick! Peel!!” As fast as any 4 hands could work together we began to separate all of the flowers so I would indeed have 30. All the while I was cracking up and struggling to stay focused. Flowers in hand, I made my way to the stage. Ever the jokester, I decided to ask the guys in class if they would “accept this rose” in my best Bachelorette fashion. Nobody got my joke. I suppose while I had been watching TV, they had been putting sweat and tears into their projects. With the flowers handed out I started to head back to my seat. My work was done and I smiled as I looked at my friends.
“Don’t go too far, Heather”.
I turned to see it was Terah, the cohort leader. I froze and instantly felt my eyes fill with tears. From that point on, I know she spoke but I could never tell you what words came from her mouth. I looked down the stage to where my friends were now standing and cheering, clapping. What were they doing? THEY were the once most deserved of the ovation. They had worked so hard! Once I was adequately numb I started to head back to my seat. Halfway down the aisle I was quickly summoned to take a seat with the graduating cohort and exit the ceremony as one of them. I am so blessed to have friends like this. I have never had an experience like this. The cohort’s explanation? I need to get out more.