I sent my first baby off to college three years ago just a few months after her dad (who is also my husband…in this day of divorce I feel like I need to clarify; isn’t that sad?) was diagnosed with colon cancer. I have to admit that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Here’s why:
1) She was excited to be going to Duke. She had worked her hardest at everything she did since preschool to prepare herself to go to a top university. Her dream came true, and she was ready to seek out every opportunity that she could find to make the most of her college experience. To put it bluntly, she wanted to be where she was. She wasn’t forced. It was entirely her decision.
2) When I physically said goodbye to her before I left for the airport (you know…the final goodbye,) I left her in good hands with familiar people at the student center. I didn’t leave her alone in her dorm room. She was with a group of people from our church, helping them welcome new students. I felt good knowing I was leaving her with a group of people who had the same values and would take care of her emotionally (if needed) and spiritually.
3) Immediately after I said goodbye to her, I went to McDonald’s in the basement of the student center, ordered a McFlurry (my go-to comfort food), and started crying to the nice older gentlemen who was serving me. “I just said goodbye to my baby!” I was crying and he was so nice to me. I think he even added a few extra pieces of peanut butter cups to cheer me. 🙂
4) As soon as I landed back home and my husband picked me up at the airport, I knew immediately that something just wasn’t right with him. It was a Wednesday night, and he was hooked up to his chemo pump. I remember the day and the circumstances because I remember spending all day Thursday (the next day) being very weepy. Little did I know that less than 48 hours later, the fact that my baby girl was away at college for the first time wasn’t even a thought on my mind…To Be Continued