deans honor awardsGeorgetown College Graduate Education Commencement on August 16 quite likely meant more to Julie Walz – a 4.0 student – than any of the 276 Master of Arts candidates who were recognized in Alumni Gym. You will soon see that receiving the Dean’s Honor Award is just a small part of why this event was special.

Julie, her husband and five children have all sacrificed mightily – as so many families-with-teachers working on advanced degrees must.  But in their case, her husband, is dying of cancer. That the former chaplain at Pikeville Medical Center made it to Georgetown for the ceremony itself is great testament to love, and hope and prayer.

“It’s a miracle Mark made it to Sunday,” said Julie today (Friday) from her husband’s bedside at the hosital he used to serve. “(Fast-forwarding) years ahead and looking back, the awesomeness of this award will be magnified.”

But, for now, Julie – understandably on short leave as an LBD (Learning Behavioral Disabilities) teacher at Pike Central High School – is humbled and grateful that Mark could fulfill his two reasons for holding on:

  1. to see their oldest son get married, and
  2. to see Julie graduate Sunday.

We encourage everyone to visit Julie’s blog – Walz Hope – because it is wonderfully bittersweet. Be sure to find the entry about “awesome days” (her Grad-Ed commencement being one of them).

She thanked us for this post-graduation family photograph we e-mailed to her. Then, Julie gave us another lump-in-the-throat with, “I’ll treasure this as it’s the last family picture I’ll ever have.”