Last night my alma mater's alumni association honored me by awarding the Outstanding Young Graduate of the Year award. I still cannot believe they chose me. I still am not believing the words that were said about me. It was just all surreal.
I left my hometown of McMinnville TN in 1997 and never looked back. I wanted to just go away and try to be an adult all on my own in not just a new town, but also a different state. My Mom didn't want me to leave, but she knew I was doing the right thing. I did not know a single person at Kentucky Wesleyan College when I arrived. It was amazing last night to have a full circle event like that occur.
Some of my favorite people came to celebrate with us. It was so wonderful to have them there. My Mom who has been there through it all of course made me cry when I was speaking. But to add to the awesomeness of her being there was our little family. Demetria and Ray, who have been our constant cheerleaders and 2 person support crew were there. My best friend from college, Jessica, who let me fall apart on the phone with her when I got the first phone call that Chaz was hurt and then again multiple other times and her hubby, Kyle, joined us. And I even had my own little Kappa Delta cheering section with Katy, Mandy and Megan there. There were several staff and faculty who knew me when also in attendance. It was wonderful for them all to take the time out to be there with us.
I wasn't going to speak last night. I was told that I could just come up and accept the award and go sit down. However, the people before me spoke, so the pressure was on. All I planned to say was thank you. Then my friend, Katy, had to start crying when she introduced me, so she kicked off the tears. She had to pass her speech off to another KWC alum. It was wonderful to hear what Katy had written about me. Then came the Obama call video, boy was that a fun blast from the past.
I got up on stage and looked out to see some many beautiful faces smiling back at me. And all I could think about was how Demetria and I have remained friends even though I left our hometown we grew up in; what a great friend I have in her. Then I saw my friend Jessica and thought, oh my word, we have been through so much together; what a great friend I made while I was at KWC. I saw my mom crying and got incredibly side tracked and then I thought I seriously have the best Mom in the world. Then I saw my hubby and our cuties and thought I am so blessed to have such a great little family who loves me. Then to see my KD sisters out there smiling, I thought about all the fun we had together in our 3 1/2 years together there. I realized my cup was overflowing. I of course was choked up. I'll be honest, I could not tell you right now what I said while I was up there. All I could think about was how blessed I truly am.
So many great friends couldn't make it. That's the thing about being a grown up.....we just can't be everywhere. I have received so many great texts, emails and messages from friends and family telling me how proud they are of me. I am just so very blessed!!! I just want to thank them all for being so supportive of our journey and of our family. I know a few were upset that they couldn't join us. Just knowing that they wanted to be there was more than enough for me.