Yuletide, I'm sure much of what was giving you cause to pursue the exam and make things official were the words of your father and brother in the back of your mind.
I know people who work in the field and as they aged a few of them commented to me that their biggest regret was not spending more time with their own families while they helped heal others.
Putting your family first is something we do out of love and I think there should be a PHD for quality parenthood.
Honestly, I think the State failed you and anyone else who graduated with the opportunity to take the exam at a later date. All former graduates should have been contacted with the new laws giving them at least three months notice. It's a shame you weren't notified.
If you focus on the last positive words from your father, you'll discover you are a blessing and a daughter to be proud of. I think the bigger questions is whether or not you are proud of yourself and "at peace" with the path you chose. Your posts sure sound like you are. Be good to yourself.