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I didn't remember, I forgot all about it and suddenly someone called me and made me remember. How could I forget this important date, I can't explain how it happens but I always forget about it.
Approximately 25 years ago I graduated as a medical surgeon at the prestigious University of the Venezuelan Andes, ULA.
This wonderful memory that I always forget comes with a sad memory. I spent many years studying and for so many years I struggled to achieve my goals, these were 8 years of intense struggle to get a career that with my greatest efforts I managed to get.
I was never able to enjoy a student vacation because they were spent locked up in a hospital working as a nurse day, afternoon and night to save money and then spend the next months at the university studying.
I don't mean by this that I didn't enjoy outings with my classmates to celebrate like when we passed a subject, a very difficult exam and other moments like rural internships, so full of exciting challenges. But it was very difficult to live working to pay for my studies and also to get a scholarship to be able to complete the months of rent in the many places where I lived.
There were times when the payments for my vacation jobs did not arrive on time and I had to leave the residence where I lived to stay with a friend to live for a few weeks while my money came in and then rent again.
I met wonderful people while I was studying and I don't know how I forgot about them because I was only working so much. I forgot to socialize because my days were spent studying and working. And so the years went by and today I remember that 25 years ago I finished my career with a degree and then I started again to continue studying all my life.
On this date, May 3, 1996, I was finished studying my profession, my passion of always, but it also happens that on that same date that I was graduating I was already waiting for my mother's death.
See, a few months before I graduated I found out that my mom had lung cancer. This type of cancer doesn’t give you a long time to live and when the symptoms appear it’s because the person is in very bad condition. My mother only lived for a few more months after she was diagnosed with this disease and all the treatments she received were useless because she only deteriorated as time passed.
When I finished my studies I couldn’t celebrate in any way with my friends and family all the sacrifice I lived during my studies, because when I got home my mother was waiting for me with open arms in her bed and giving me the blessing of what I had achieved. But she didn’t get up from her bed anymore and got worse. She only stayed alive for 2 months in bed. She lost consciousness after a month and a half and at exactly two months she left me alone one morning, after placing her breakfast through a nasogastric tube that I placed so that she would receive food for the last 15 days of her life in bed and in a coma. That morning when I saw her she had already exhaled her last breath, so I removed her tubes and said goodbye.
That’s why I think my mind erased the date of my graduation. It’s the date of her departure. I didn’t celebrate graduation and remained mute for a long time after she left. I didn't want to talk for many hours, I just thought and thought with nothing comforting me. Only time allowed me to forget the month I came home from receiving my degree to find my mother dying.
My mind remembers July as the date of her death but forgot when I found her slowly passing in bed, during May.
It was today that some college friends and acquaintances added me to a Whatsapp group and I remembered again my graduation day, as well as the moment I saw my mother in bed.
But today after 25 years I am happy to celebrate with my group of friends, colleagues, people who are more than brothers to me because we faced many adversities together and overcame them.
Today I am celebrating 25 years of having graduated as a medical surgeon.