What is the next vision of myself? It’s a question that holds so many possible answers…though there is one which stands out profoundly to me – college graduate. Education, which I emphatically stress the importance of to my children, stood as an item on my “bucket list” of life that was never fulfilled. The name "Villanova" brings a lot to mind – a physical location which held life’s events such as my baptism, weddings, funerals and my Grandparent’s address. It is the pride evoked in my children’s eyes when they say where their mom is a “student”. It will be the institution which awards me a diploma, which I will share with the memory of one of my sons who we lost from an illness. It is “me” in the past, present and is the destination for a piece of my future. Villanova University was an unattainable dream which came to fruition, but I believe my journey to “the next me” is even more important than my ultimate destination.
My vision of what I wish to become will be due to the culmination of my life’s experiences and the support which I have received. The mother to five exceptional children; a wife, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker and the list goes on of so many individuals who have bettered my life by their support and guidance. I am a woman who always wanted to attend Villanova, but life circumstances made this impossible until the College of Professional Studies was formed.
I am a mother of a child who will never see college due to a horrific illness that cut his life short. I work as a special needs advocate who wishes to better herself for the patients/families (who my family once was) who are in need of resources and advocacy. When I accept my diploma, armed with a cap, gown, and resources for all my future endeavors, it will equally be his dreams that I now have the power to bring to life.
In looking over my journey, it began with a simple criterion, but evolved into a lifetime of lessons and moments. A prerequisite was that to achieve the next “vision” of myself, I would not sacrifice time with my children or family en route to my destination. While many nights and early mornings are spent on my studies – I fully accepted the challenge and, unintentionally, offered valuable gifts to my children. They are my greatest cheering section and witness firsthand the hard work required to follow your dreams. Words and lessons of perseverance, which previously were offered to them, are now coming back to me – “Mom great job; you got this; did you get your paper done?”; my husband throwing me a surprise family party after I made the Dean’s List and my parents proudly contacting family/friends when I was accepted into Villanova. One of my favorite memories thus far, the image of my children and their friends leaning over my computer to see a final exam grade appear on the screen and the thunderous applause and “high fives” which followed – a priceless “paver” on the road to my journey!
There are so many pavers on the path to my destination and I look forward to “cementing” more as my time at Villanova progresses. Each lesson learned, memory made, course completed, and opportunity presented has impacted my life and made me more appreciative of the “journey.” Thank you for the opportunity to be the best “vision of myself.”