Please join me in celebrating the latest Beattie college graduate, Brian!
Yes, it’s true. My beloved has completed college, and with a GPA of 4.0! Although he made a huge push the last 2 years to make this happen, it’s a journey that started over 30 years ago. He graduated from high school with high grades (graduating 15th in a class of 435 students) and dreamed of going to college, but the money just wasn’t there. Instead, he signed up for the Air Force, being assigned a job as a computer operator. He excelled at that (of course!) and ended up getting assigned as a programmer, writing a program that was used internationally by the Air Force. During this time he took college classes as he was able, and CLEP’ed out of a few other classes.
In 1983 he completed his commitment to the Air Force and got a job working as a programmer. Now that he was financially stable, we got married and moved to the desert where his new job was. At first he wouldn’t take classes, because he felt bad making a commitment to anything that would interfere with us spending time together, but I encouraged him to go for it, knowing how much it meant to him.
Over the next couple years he took just a class a semester in order to not have his classes be a burden to me (although I wouldn’t have minded). When Amanda was born he took some time off from school in order to be able to with the family as much as possible, but he finally started back, one class at a time. It didn’t take long before he gave it up, not being comfortable not being fully available to his family. I felt bad about it, but he would have it no other way, wanting to be the best, most available husband and father he could be.
Through the years the subject came up now and then, but he refused to entertain the idea of going back to college, feeling the cost to the rest of us would be too high. During those years money went for our kids to take dance classes, piano lessons, play little league, take gymnastics, and be homeschooled, but no college for Brian. Then it went to put both kids through Bible college. A couple years ago when God miraculously provided money for Brian to return to college, he fought it for a while, knowing there was much good that could be done for others with that money, but I finally convinced him it was his turn.
For the two years since then, Brian continued to work his full-time, high-responsibility job, and spent just about every free minute working on being a full-time student. I razzed him a little about it once, and he said, “I did NOT go back to school to not get A’s!” It’s impossible to not love a heart like that! He held on to that through the whole program, in spite of some dud classes and a couple dud professors.
But, don’t get the idea that Brian turned over a new leaf and started looking out for himself instead of his family. His sacrifice continued right up to the end. After three decades of working on his degree, wouldn’t you know that his graduation was scheduled for the same weekend as our son’s. In typical Brian- fashion, Brian chose to make the trip to Kansas City for Adam’s graduation rather than attend his own. So while his classmates were celebrated in front of hundreds a month ago, he will be celebrated tonight with just me.
Oh, and just so you know, there’s another thing that hasn’t changed in all these years. He’s still class clown…