To The Mom Sending Her Daughter To College

To The Mom About To Send Her Daughter To College

You've been preparing me my whole life for this, and it's time to let go.

651
views

18 years. 18 years of always being together, always coming home and shouting "Hey mom, I'm home!" and rambling on to tell you about my day and all of the semi-exciting things that happened. You've been my ranting buddy, my favorite shotgun rider, and my shoulder to cry on. We've gotten so used to being together that it seems crazy that I'm moving seven hours away in less than five months. Whenever I ask you if you're excited for me, you always try to smile and say, "Yes, I just want you to be safe and happy." I know you're worried about me going out into this big, scary world alone and you're sad to see me go, but it's time to let go. You've raised me to be ready for this moment, to venture out into the world and follow my dreams. It's scary for both of us to see me go off into the unknown, but with you in my heart, we'll always be together.

You've raised me to be strong, courageous, independent and motivated to succeed, and I will always carry these things with me wherever I go.

While you're letting me go, this isn't goodbye forever. I'll be home for the holidays, and I promise that if something even minorly important happens in my life, you'll know. Just because 500 miles separates us doesn't mean you won't be with me wherever I go.

I promise that my first and sole priority will be my education, as I've worked incredibly hard to be ready for this next phase of my education and chapter of my life.

I promise to protect myself and my heart and to watch out for my best interests in every situation.

I promise to eat a vegetable sometimes and to keep my dorm clean.

I promise to call home at least once a week (probably more, let's be real here) and to Facetime often.

This time is exciting and scary for both of us (change always is), but you've been preparing me my whole life for this, and I'm going to be just fine. Take heart knowing that I'm going to thrive in the unknown, taking new risks and working hard to succeed while exploring the world that I've been longing to see for so long. While 500 miles will separate us, I'll always remember everything you've instilled in me over the years, and you'll always be in my heart. It's time to let go.

Popular Right Now

Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

62782
views

Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

To My Beautiful Mother, Thank You For Everything

Here's the best "Thank You" I can put into words.

226
views

Today was not my day.

We were in the middle of a CVS and I started crying because I saw this Mike Wazowksi stuffed animal, and it reminded me of how fast I'm growing up. It was really, really stupid. You gave me your sunglasses to cover my blotchy eyes and told me to pretend we were at the pharmacy because I had an eye infection. I was sniffling and wearing these ridiculously oversized sunglasses (because sometimes you dress like an honest-to-god celebrity), and all the pharmacists and the people in line looked at us like we were insane. You didn't care. We drove around for a bit in your brand new car and you told me that there are just days like this and that I was going to be okay.

Later tonight, I went out for some fresh air. You picked me up in your pajama pants. I could tell that you were really tired. From the kitchen now, I can see the edge of your socks on our Michigan blanket. You were watching your lawyer show and you fell asleep on the couch again. Thanks for picking me up.

Dad says that when we were still living in that two-flat on Carmen, you liked to play Van Morrison and dance around in circles with me. "Into The Mystic" was our favorite one. To this day, I still love when I hear Van sing, "We were born before the wind." and when I'm away at school and they play"Brown-Eyed Girl" at the bar, I always think of our old house.

It used to be just me, you, dad, and a black lab. I was your first kid, and you and dad were barely 30 when I was born. You are both tan and happy in our first family photos. I like to think that the two of you were pretty excited to have me. I remember when dad painted The Cow Jumped Over The Moon on the far wall of my bedroom. There would be this big, bright-yellow saucer moon, and a smiling spoon holding hands with a dish waiting for me when I came home. I know that you wanted me to be a happy kid from the very first day. You dressed me like a chubby little corn on the cob for my first Halloween.

You watched "Monsters Inc." with me on the couch almost every night, and I know you got tired of it. You walked me around the neighborhood with stroller shaped like a little red car and we were the coolest chicks on the block. I lost my favorite stuffed animal, this spotted little dog, and we searched together for hours. You even helped me make "MISSING" posters and post them around the neighborhood, in case I left him at the park or playing outside. You brushed out my curls every morning before school even when I screamed and cried and fought you. You drove me to violin practice on Tuesday nights and let me play my Taylor Swift CD's on the way there, as long as you could listen to your music on the way back. One year you even took me to see her in concert at the Allstate Arena. You bought me a Taylor Swift poster, and we watched her music videos together on the home computer. You worked hard so I could have a good childhood.

You opened your own law practice and saved up money so I could go to this fancy, private school in the West Loop. The people there were different than me. They dressed differently and talked in a different way than I'd grown up with. To be crass, the majority of them had lots of money- and they acted like it. So, what did you do? You busted your ass off, and in addition to paying what was essentially college tuition, you took me shopping at Vineyard Vines so I could fit in with the kids at school. That was almost too nice of you. Like, maybe you should have just told me to shut up, wear the clothes I had already, and deal with it. You're too giving for that.

During the winter when the days were hard and everything just felt crappy, I took the Taylor Street bus to your office after school. You always gave me money to go get Chipotle across the street. You cleared out the conference room so I could either nap or do homework. We drove home together from downtown and the traffic was always unbearable, but we talked about what was going on in our lives as we inched down the highway. On the days like those, I felt like you were my best and truest friend in the world.

You taught me to be down-to-earth, and that a glass of wine a day is good for the health.

You didn't bat an eye when I told you I wanted to major in journalism. You stayed up late with me one night when I was a little bit... "sick", and ran a marathon the next day. I watched you run a political campaign and win fair-and-square. You refused to play into the games of politics, and I watched you become a Cook County Judge because of how fair and genuine you are. You taught me that dark hair and red lipstick will never go out of style. You taught me that a clean house is essential for peace of mind. You told me to never go to bed mad at someone I love.

So mother, as I reflect on the day we went through together today, I want you to know that the way you care for me will never go unnoticed. You are a kickass, professional woman, but also a pretty fun lady to be around. Thanks for your wisdom.

Thanks for everything.

Related Content

Facebook Comments