Today I successfully defended my dissertation proposal for my Ph.D. This means I am in the final phase of my program…only the dissertation left to go. In my department, this step in the process is pretty significant. A lot of pressure, preparation, and anxiety goes into this phase. Although I was pretty confident I would be successful, hearing from my committee that I passed as a relief. I felt accomplished. I felt excited. I received texts from my family and my friends. We plan to celebrate this weekend. It is a good feeling and an important moment in my journey. But, celebrations like this and moments like this always have a tinge of sadness. Boris is not here to tell me congratulations. He isn’t here to be excited about my accomplishment. I didn’t call him or text him afterward, and he isn’t going to be celebrating with me this weekend. That really sucks.
I know that I may not even be in a Ph.D. program if Boris hadn’t died. I may not have made that big decision to go back to school. I don’t know how life would have looked…I don’t know where the chips would have fallen. Or, how his presence would have changed the course of everyone’s lives. But, he did die. And this is the path I am on…but, it still feels weird to not have him here for these moments. I know he would be proud of me, and most of the time I believe he is out there somewhere and he is proud of me.