Monday, May 7, 2012

done, done, DONE!

When Stephen got done with his last final on Friday morning, I didn't know what to do with him! Nor did he know what to do with himself! I picked him up from school, for the last time, with a beer in hand and a giant congratulatory hug and smooch. All well deserved :) We came home and crawled back in bed to watch a movie (something he hasn't gotten to do very often this year) and simply enjoyed each other's company. And the complete and utter laziness. Cleaned house, cleaned up and picked his parents up from the airport. They made the quick flight in for Stephen's end of the year dinner. Always a treat to see them!

The dinner was held both as a congratulatory yummy feast for all the students who survived their first year and to honor one student with the Arthur Schaible Anatomy Award. Before the three courses of deliciousness, we got to enjoy an hour or so of talking with all the students, spouses, parents and staff. This year's WWAMI class is made up of some truly remarkable people, both in the classroom and out. We've been so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know each of them and their families. We've made some incredible friends along this journey and can't wait to spend more time with them in Seattle!

The dinner began and once our tummies were full, they announced the winner of this year's Arthur Schaible Anatomy Award. Arthur Schaible was a renowned surgeon in Fairbanks who began his medical work in Alaska in 1938. After his passing, his gracious wife decided to give back to the medical community through a yearly award and donation to one student in the Alaska WWAMI program. The award winner is chosen based on many criteria... Grades, class participation, leadership, quality of lab work... "The student who best demonstrates excellence in Human Gross Anatomy is chosen as the recipient of the award." And as Dr. Bailey said while announcing the award, "It is the most prestigious medical school award in the nation, both in cash value and honorable recognition." And then he said my husband's name...

Six students had addressed Dr. Bailey recommending Stephen for the award, saying he is so quiet and humble they might have overlooked him. But they hadn't. Grinning from ear to ear while I sat crying at the table, Stephen walked up to accept his award. His face was every shade of red and I'm sure he was praying he wouldn't have to give a speech :) He is so honored, and I am so proud! Truly, so very, very proud! I have watched him all year (usually from the kitchen at the back of his head as he studies diligently at his desk in the living room) work so hard in his studies. It amazes me that he was able to spend so much time with me and put forth so much effort in school. Never once has he failed at being a remarkable husband, nor failed at anything in school. From the outside, before we started this medical school adventure, it didn't seem so hard. People warned us and tried to prepare us, but I never thought it would be hard. We had it in the bag, right?! But it has been hard. Hard for Stephen in school, trying to learn more information than they give you time to learn it, trying to juggle 25 credits of 600 level classes, trying to pass twelve tests in eight weeks... Hard on our relationship, trying to spend time together, to talk to each other, to not miss the person you live with... Hard making time for friendships and family... Just hard. But he's done it. We've done it. And to see him excel through all of it just melts my heart (and really gets my tear ducts going!)

I am so lucky. So honored. So proud. And so very, very in love.

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