Persistence Glows


After years of archival research, chapters drafted and re-drafted, grad school extensions, and the birth of my first daughter, I finally received my Ph.D. in American History. My husband, father, and toddler daughter watched me receive my degree in a small January ceremony. I was proud of my accomplishment, but I think my father may have been prouder.


Seeds drift and flutter,

fields and cracks fill with flowers–

the glow of persistence





A Haibun for dVerse, where Lillian asks us to write about one shining moment.Β  Something I just noticed–my dad never wore ties, but he wore one for this.








72 thoughts on “Persistence Glows

  1. Oh thank you for sharing! One shining moment indeed: for you, hour husband, and your father. Of course he put on a tie for this very proud moment. Earning a PhD is no small feat — and most especially for one who is a young mother as well. Congratulations!!!!!
    And the traditional haiku is perfect for the prose. The dash does well in shifting the meaning.
    We are sympatico….although I am much older than you! I earned my PhD in my 40s…with teenage children and in the classroom with all younger folk. And oh yes….it was one shining moment when I was awarded that degree….I actually bought thank you gifts for my husband and children πŸ™‚

    • Thank you very much, Lillian!
      Quite an accomplishment for you, too.
      It was too much detail to put into this, but my dad went back to school when I was a teen–undergraduate to Ph.D. I had the same dissertation advisor that he had–though our dissertations were very different.

  2. Well, Dr. Smith, that certainly shines as a life moment. I returned to college in my late 30’s to get my MA in special ed.

    • Thank you, Glenn, and good for you!
      My dad had never finished his undergraduate degree, and he went back to school when I was a teen and went straight through to get his Ph.D. We had the same dissertation advisor.

  3. What a wonderful story of perseverance …. and victory! We’re glad you shared it with us. CONGRATULATIONS

  4. Wow! This is wonderful and kudos to you Dr. Smith!
    Maybe this is a kick in the pants for me to go to University – wouldn’t that be a hoot.. I’ll be probably in my 60’s by the time I graduate!

    • Oh! And because of this, I decided to go back to the prompt and read it completely (I admit to giving up with the basketball March Madness thing and didn’t read it all). I am suddenly inspired.

      • Well. I’m glad I inspired you!πŸ˜€ Yeah, I have zero interest in anything to do with sports. Younger daughter and I watched the show “Friday Night Lights,” which we both liked, but every time there was a football scene, I zoned out. πŸ˜€

      • You do. Often! I have been thinking of how to write it since last night. I feel it will come to me soon enough πŸ˜‰
        Here’s the funny thing. I can’t stand watching a baseball game on TV but I love baseball movies… and, truth be told, I like most sports movies. Weird. I enjoy going to a live game once per year (or in a while) but that’s it.
        You… LOL!!

      • LOL! Well, I for one, loved The Blindside and a few other football movies πŸ˜‰
        And I actually do like football whereas baseball is the sport that never ends and basketball is running back and forth and scoring and soccer is the game that goes on and on and might bring a piddly score!

    • Thank you. This was a long time (as you can see from the photo), and my dad has been dead for over twenty years. But he went back to school when I was a teen to finish his undergraduate degree and then went straight through and got his doctorate. So he was maybe in his 50s when he finished.

    • Thank you very much, Susan. The other man was the then president of Temple University. My dad was a professor there. My dad looks like he’s so proud he’s going to burst.

  5. A proud moment indeed, Merril. When I graduated, my parents didn’t come, but my father and stepmother-in-law did, and that made all the difference.

    • Both my parents came to my undergraduate graduation, but it’s so funny I don’t remember if my mom came to this one. My dad took us out to lunch first at the faculty club because by then he was a professor. Perhaps my mom was working.

  6. Pingback: A Short, Bright Light | A Dalectable Life

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