This past Saturday was the big day: Tim's graduation from college!
It was so exciting to be sitting in this stadium, anticipating all the graduates soon to be marching in and filling those empty seats. It seemed not too long ago that I was sitting in the bleachers of Tim's high school, heart thumping with excitement and pride that my youngest son was graduating and would be going on to college.
In my post on May 9th, I had said that Tim overcame some major life obstacles in pursuing his degree and that I would talk about it after his graduation ceremony. First and foremost was his brother's death in September 2009. Tim was in community college when Phil passed away. Tim wanted to quit school. He didn't know how he was going to go on. After a lot of discussion and Tim's own perseverance, he stayed in school. It took him four years to complete community college due to a host of factors, but he never gave up.
During the few years Tim was away at university, he experienced job loss; major car troubles; spraining his ankle twice - the second time so severe that he ended up in a "boot"; a severe case of tinnitus; and...a burglary! I don't want to give too many personal details on that, but long story short, the front door on his rental house was not locked, Tim was not home, and the burglar broke into his bedroom (his bedroom door was locked) and stole his TV, his PS3 game station (which wasn't worth much but was very sentimental - it had been Phil's), and worst of all, his beautiful camera and all the contents in his camera bag: lenses, memory cards, hard drive with all his photos, and some other very expensive photography equipment. We are very thankful Tim was not hurt and that his professor was understanding and worked with him so that he could finish his projects and graduate on time.
To say that I'm proud of my son for what he has achieved - a BFA in Photography - is an understatement. I know that he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to, even in the face of adversity. As I have said to Tim since he was little, "The world is your oyster and you are the pearl."
I know that Phil would've been very proud of his brother, too.