On Tuesday I will attend my convocation and become officially a B.A. (Honours) instead of just a plain old B.A.
When I graduated with my B.A. my grandfather couldn’t come to my graduation because he was out in Saskatchewan and already planning a trip for my wedding a few months later. Of course, my kid wasn’t there because she wouldn’t be born for another three years.
This time both of them will be there, and I’m thrilled. My grandfather is one of the most important influences in my life. My daughter is one of my biggest reasons for any of the things I do.
Joe’s parents are also here and will be attending with us, which is such a lovely thing for me.
When I walked across the stage in 2007 to collect my B.A. I looked out and at the back of the room I saw my father. I have such a vivid memory of this. He was there. I had made him proud. (Of course now I have the added knowledge that there was a point when he never thought I would go through university – of course, there was a point I didn’t think I even wanted to finish high school).
I remember seeing him there and being happy to see my Dad, there for me.
For various reasons, his fault and my own I now realize, we weren’t very good together. But lately we were. Better than ever.
That’s what hurts the most really, lots of wasted years and then finally coming together and then that opportunity just gone. I got the least amount of time with him, I was the youngest. My daughter got the least amount of time with him.
So I know that part of me will be looking into the back of that crowded room on Tuesday. Even though our last email exchange was me telling him that I would graduate on June 9 and him replying that he was out of the country until the 10.
‘You’ll just have to be there next year,’ I replied, knowing that he would be proud of my Masters degree. In politics, just like his. Knowing that we’re in a good place now.
Even though I know that he wouldn’t have been there anyway, I still worry that walking across that stage I will still burst into tears – angry and sad again that my Dad is gone. Just gone.