I wish I could take credit for the cutesy title but that I lifted from an anonymous online source. The inspirational subject of this post is indeed an original; however. Keith's sister Kim finally realized the fruition of all of her labors this past weekend: she graduated with her Master's degree as a nurse practitioner. We were all too pleased and proud to witness Kim finally realize her goal.
The day began in ornate fashion at the breathtakingly beautiful St. Francis Xavier Church on the St. Louis University campus. All of the nurses were feted in a serene ceremony that highlighted their achievements. Later, after a St. Louis-style pizza lunch at Vito's, we moved on to Chaifetz Arena for the larger ceremony for all of the graduates. The ceremony was heavy on pomp with the color guard and bagpipers and the raising of hands over the graduates as part of a prayer for successful futures for them all. These rituals are all part of recognizing the achievement, though, and adds a spiritual structure to the proceedings. The kids managed to hang on through all of the pomp and circumstance thanks to their handy Nintendo DS games. There was no distraction for any of us, though, when Kim took the stage to receive her congratulations as evidenced by our popping flashbulbs and cheers. Keith and I, their parents and Dave and the kids sat in rapt attention as Kim stood in her well-deserved spotlight.
The celebration continued into the evening once we returned to Fulton where we gathered at Bek's for dinner. Over dinners of prime rib, salmon prepared with a jalapeno-bleu cheese sauce, mahi-mahi served with mango salsa and a few glasses of Westmalle Trappist Dubbel ale, we reflected on the day and Kim's success. Well, her success and the funny moment when we pulled her hood over her head and took a photo...after all, we can't be serious all day, right?
I can certainly wax rhapsodic about Kim's achievements but the achievements speak for themselves. I could also write on about the sacrifices and setbacks Kim endured on this journey, but her husband Dave has already written on this quite eloquently: check out his own blog post here. I will simply say this....I have always been nothing short of blown away by Kim and Dave as parents and have long admired Kim's dedication to nursing and her education while continuing to be such an amazing parent. Keith and I are beyond thrilled to see her not only reach her goal but be soundly celebrated for all of her hard work.
Heartfelt Congratulations, Kim...we are so very proud of you and love you always.