Normally, there is an Acknowledgement and Dedication page at the beginning of a book. I would have written a dissertation. I will not now. I am learning to be fine with this but I still would like to write a dedication as closure to this time in my life.
I dedicate this work that I am currently doing to my children. I think that it was important for me to model education for my children and my students. I believe in learning and I have invested myself into education. This is a powerful thing. I wanted to be one of the ones that didn't say, "Do what I say, not what I do."
My children have watched me type and read and work late into the night. They have lent me their rooms as work places. They have left me notes inspiring me to keep on working. When I first learned about not being able to finish my dissertation, I thought of them. I thought of them being disappointed in me and this brought me shame. I remember them.
I also want to dedicate the work that I have done to my parents, especially my father. He came to this country from Colombia and it was he that believed in the power of knowledge. He invested in me and in my learning He sent me to good schools. When I think of all I have learned in my formal education, I am so proud of the education that I was blessed to receive. It was exceptional, even when I fought to not do the work. I am thankful.
I think about my family and where I came from. Did my grandparents envision an educated grand daughter. Did they hope for a lover of learning? I don't know. I hope that I have made them proud. It is true, "I am the dream and the hope of the slave."*
I have had two husbands while working on this degree. I think of my late husbamd and his reticence for me to do this. At the time, I was doing it to help us and our small family. I was hoping to bolster my earning power. Now, I think of my current love. He is so proud of me. He doesn't allow me to be mean to myself for my failure. He assures me of who I am and how I am loved. He reminds me that I am not my accomplishments. I am thankful to them.
Finally, but God. My dissertation chair called me the day that he died. I was supposed to submit some chapters for her. I imagine working on my dissertation while waiting for the police and then the medical examiner. Regardless of what I may think, grief did affect my ability to finish, but I didn't quit. I fought to write and then to present. It's true that I didn't have the time. I'm not upset, whatever my God ordains for me is good. Praise the Lord!
*Quote from Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.