Friday morning was quite a mile stone in our lives! My Husband presented his official (Ph.D.) doctoral dissertation defense before a public audience, the members of his committee, and the outside "readers" who had been assigned to oversee this occasion. In a mere half hour, my Husband attempted to adequately summarise what had taken him several years-- and nearly two hundred pages of written work-- to complete. I sat near the back of the room, amongst several of our friends (his colleagues), and had tried to offer him both encouragement and strength with my beaming smiles. After my Husband's presentation, there were questions from the general audience. Then, the public was dismissed and he was left to face the lions alone.
The hour that followed was rather harrowing. I sat in my Husband's office, listening to the clock in the outside courtyard chime away the quarter hours. I had done a lot of fretting and praying. I had also done much reminiscing. This single event represented several years worth of work and preparation. It had been our goal for more than the entirety of our marriage. You see, my Husband had already completed a year when we became engaged, but he had become overwhelmed and had taken a leave of absence. We had returned to the program a month after our wedding. Thus began the long road ahead...one which would draw to a close this day.
At last, just when I thought I could stand it no more, I heard my Husband's loud, booming voice in the hallway. A moment later, he stuck his head in the door. With a look of complete exhaustion mixed with jubilation, he opened his arms to me. I ran into them. He held me fiercely and whispered, "We passed."
It seemed strange to me that my Husband would included me in his triumph. However, he was not alone in this. At the subsequent champagne toast, the myriad of faculty, staff, and friends congratulated us both.
My favourite part of the celebration, however, were the curious glances. I think many of the faculty, those whom I had not met previously, were rather curious to meet the woman who had consented to become the wife of such a legend. In addition to his more amiable qualities-- those which had won him the respect and friendship of nearly all who had known him-- my Husband had also established quite a reputation during his time in the doctorate program for his manner of dress, conservative values, and for his less-than-quiet opinions on such matters. :-)
My heart is full of joy! The past days have seemed a dream. I am still getting used to being "Mrs. Dr. __," but it does not feel quite as ominous as I had feared. My Husband is still the same person as he was a few days prior to this event. He is still the sweet, tender, firm, loving leader that he always was-- he somehow manages to be the life of the party, and yet, also very spiritual deep. It does not matter to me if he had been a corporate executive or a janitor. I love the man I married. I love him entirely for who he is. I am thrilled, however, to witness his great accomplishments, for I always knew he was capable of them.
I am glad, too, for my role in my Husband's success. I do not wish to be in the spotlight, myself. That is not my purpose. My greatest joy in life is not found in the completion of my own goals, but in helping other people to fulfill theirs. In the case of my Husband and me, I live to serve him, obey him, love him, and to offer him joy wherever it may be found.
This is what makes me happy. This is what fulfills my soul. This is my vocation: to be a traditional wife.