Today marks the 5th anniversary of my graduation from Brock.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I was going to blog some of my best memories from Brock.
While Brock was four amazing years, they were also four incredibly hard years. Each of the four years, there was a death in my family, in addition to a lot of health issues and scares.
In first year my paternal Grandpa passed away on January 16th. I did what I call a drive by funeral. I left school late one night, drove home for the funeral the next morning and drove back to school that afternoon.
Shortly after my maternal Grandpa had a triple bi-pass surgery and was lucky to make it off the table.
In second year, my Dad’s Uncle, who when I was little I mistakenly called Grandpa, died from heart failure.
The summer before third year my Grandpa was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He died on October 16th.
In the winter of my third year my maternal Grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy.
The following summer my Grandma had hip replacement surgery.
That spring we found out my sister was pregnant.
Sometime around the beginning of fourth year, my Dad’s Aunt (my previously mentioned uncle’s wife) also passed away from a heart problems.
In the fall of my fourth year, my sister went into premature labour and my niece was born on October 7th, approximately a month early (I believe it was). She was immediately taken to NICU and spent the first part of her life there.
I’ve always been a fighter. I am typically a strong person, who holds it together for everyone else (which I did through all of this). But when I was back on campus, where no one needed me to hold it together, I needed the strength of my friends.
First year it was a group of guys who helped when things were hard. D’Arcy was my go to guy, he was probably my best friend first year. I injured my right (dominant) hand early in the year, skinning several layers off of the palm, but he helped me bandage and take care of it (because doing it with one hand was a bit difficult). He was also there to talk and listen when things were challenging, just like Colin, Saj and Matt, who were there to talk, listen and distract me when I needed it.
Second year until now I have had a group of strong female friends. I met Erin S. my first year, but I didn’t really get to know her that well until second year when I was roomed with a good friend of hers, Erin K. Erin K. and I had another roommate Sayward. This trio, while I may not talk to them all the time, are people who no matter how long we go without talking, we are able to pick up right where we left off. They helped me through a lot, and were there for a lot of really good times too.
Third year was my hardest year. That was the year that my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer and ultimately succumb to it. That year I was a Don (Resident Advisor) and a third year student who was trying to get the grades to get into fourth year honours. So it was a challenging year to begin with, but when my Grandpa passed away, the bottom fell out. While I was able to hold it together a fair amount of times, there would be time where I just couldn’t anymore. I remember when I got the call, I held it together long enough to get through the phone call. Then I crumpled on to the floor into a puddle of tears. My roommate Erin S. heard me from her room and came to find me curled up into a sobbing ball. Erin just sat with me while I processed the news. She called my co-worker and friend Mike, along with my former roommates and friends Erin and Sayward. Sayward came over to my place with a stack of homework that she needed to do, but she spent the day in my room just talking and listening to me, as I packed a weeks worth of clothes for home. My roommates (past and present) got me through that day, probably the hardest of my life.
That day though, the day I lost my Grandpa, I gained the person I consider my best friend, Matt. I had met a guy who was working security on move in day. I found him sitting outside of my court at 7:30 a.m. There was something about him, I had this gut feeling when I met him that I’d met him for a reason. The day my grandpa died I ran into him at a residence dance that my roommate had dragged me to. We talked briefly, but when I went home I added him to MSN. When he accepted and logged on, I asked him to do me a favour. I told him I was going to be away for the next couple of days, maybe a week, and I asked him to make sure he and his security co-workers kept an extra eye on my court (not that my court ended up needing it, they were fantastic while I was gone, and a great support to me). Anyways, he asked me why I was going to be away and I explained the situation. From that point on, for the rest of the year we spoke nearly every day, for most of the day. We spent a lot of time together and almost every time he worked a security shift on my side of campus he would stop by and give me a hug. He barely knew me when I lost my Grandpa, but he became someone I could talk to about anything and everything. He was someone who could make me laugh, and who instinctively knew how to deal with me when I was stressed out or having a meltdown. In the 7 years since we met, Matt and I have been through a lot, but he is probably my biggest cheerleader. When something good happens to either one of us, we text or message each other. When something goes wrong, we text or message each other. We may not talk as much as we used to, but not matter what I know he is there for me if I need him.
Last but not least, is my favourite Scotian, Kate. I met Kate my fourth year, when we were both on RAC (residence action council). We immediately clicked. Kate is someone who could always make me laugh. We spent a lot of time together, including a lot of meals (which I cooked). We did homework together, despite having two different majors, being in two different years (2nd and 4th) and taking completely different classes, you could often find the two of us in my room working on school work or RAC work.
I now live in a different city than all of my friends and I rarely get to see them, but I love my friends. We may not talk all the time, but I know no matter what they are there for me and I will be there for them. They have been a great source of support and encouragement in my life. They have also been a great inspiration to me. They have all had a hand in shaping the person I am and I know that if it weren’t for each of these individuals, I wouldn’t have enjoyed (and maybe survived) university as much as I did.
I may not always remember the things that I learned in my classes (and sometimes I may not understand what I learned), but I know I will never forget the people who I met at Brock.