There is no honorary degree that goes to supporting someone for more than a decade.
For being responsible and paying all of the bills, even when the world falls out from underneath her.
No one hoods the person who leaves great jobs, and friends, and family and starts over in the midst of ashes. Three times.
My stress, my sacrifice does not give me a diploma on the wall.
My friends and family have helped along the way. His have not.
But he will have the title.
It appears to leave me only lonely. And a little bitter. And sad.
And we will cheer and take pictures and honor him tomorrow.
And I will wish that I could go back to 1995 and tell the younger me that I am worth it. The time. The sacrifice. The money. The hard work. That I am smart enough. And worthy. And that I shouldn't give up my dreams because I think I love a boy.
Because I will still work and pay and sacrifice for those dreams. But they won't be mine. And that playing the role of a mother to this boy for 17 years will leave me empty and not quite able to ever respect the man that I helped to make, and I will never be able to see our partnership as equal. Because it's not.
And no matter how much I can look at the positives, I still feel so much regret for selling my younger sell short. For not believing in her, and her potential. And wishing I had people around back then who had fought for me, who would have stopped me from surrendering my future.
There isn't a Hallmark card to capture all this, and I will not have a fancy gown to wear over my swollen, pregnant belly.
But I will be thinking of 1995.