Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Turning the Page

Two years ago at this time, we were in the midst of doing a bone marrow aspiration on TP, trying to determine why she was so anemic. She was still on mega doses of prednisone and Solu-medrol and CellCept - medicaitons which suppress the immune system. Her face was swollen and she was a little overweight from the side effects of the meds, and her spirit was wavering because she didn't have a date for homecoming and she felt out of place.

Last year during the fall, she got her braces off, we had her senior pictures taken outside with brilliant trees as a backdrop, and she was tapering off her meds. We were looking at a lot of colleges, filling out applications, applying for financial aid.

In November of last year, she became gravely ill. We prayed feverishly for her survival. You may recall the miracle I experienced after praying to Mary, the mother of Jesus - TP recovered!

She is now off most of her meds, and has been at college for almost two weeks.

I'm not going to lie and say this process of sending her off to college has been easy on me. I've experienced sadness and grief like I've never felt before. At times, there is a huge hole in my heart when I physcially ache to give her a hug. Sometimes, it hits me like a huge ton of bricks that she is gone - and my eyes begin to tear up, my stomach gets tied up in knots, and my breath becomes labored.

And then, there are the times when I am at peace. It is during those times that I reflect on the fact that this is what we have been praying for all along - for her to be healthy and happy, and to be able to make her dream of becoming a nurse come true. There were times when I wasn't sure it was going to be possible because of all the medical problems that kept on popping up when we least expected them to. When I think of how far she has come - physically, emotionally, spiritually - I know that God has blessed her with an incredible spirit and determination to beat the odds.
My husband pointed out to me that we could have been remembering her during this time of year, rather than celebrating her new life as a college student. Remembering these things help me to keep this all in perspective, so that when I do begin to feel sad or anxious, all I have to do is think of the miracle which God has given to us.

TP had a rough time the first couple of days, but since that time, she has grown to embrace college life totally. She studies a LOT, has made tons of new friends (including a "special" someone!), and is involved in other activities including the Christian Fellowship Organization. She loves the independence and freedom - and has definitely overcome her homesickness. She calls me at least once a day to tell me how things are going, and I treasure our talks.

The other night, as we were saying goodnight, I told her I missed her. She paused and said, "I kind of miss you, mom - but I don't miss home - I hope that doesn't sound mean or anything, but I just love it here". So, I told her with a heart full of love and a lump in my throat that "I want you to know that this is YOUR time to shine, honey. Remember when you were so sick? We used to pray for this day to come - when you were happy and healthy and in college. Our prayers have been answered, sweetie, and I want you to just do your best and enjoy your time while you're there. Yes, I miss you - but I wouldn't want you to be anywhere else but where you are right now". She seemed relieved with what I had to say. And I was so overwhelmed when I was saying it, because I honestly meant every word. I had FINALLY come to terms with my daughter's leaving. I had raised her to be an independent, friendly, kind and loving person who grabbed life and lived it to the fullest - and so I can be content in the knowledge that she's on her way. She'll still need me, but in different ways. She'll always love me, of that I am certain. But, she'll always be my "baby girl" because I still remember her tiny head nestled on my shoulder - oh, so many years ago - with the moon shining into the bedroom as I sang her a lullaby.

Dear Lord, thank you for getting us to this point of TP's life. Watch over her, guide her, protect her from every evil and any harm which might come her way. Words can't express how deeply grateful I am that she is alive, healthy, and loving every minute of college.


At 11:17 PM, Blogger JodiTucker said...

Wow!!......Glad she is doing so well at college!........I forwarded this post on to my daughter at UAkron. (You express my thoughts so well!) Although we have not experienced a grave illness in our immmediate family, we pray for dear cousin Rebekah in OR often and can see how this turns your world upside down. We are now starting the college app. process with the final Tucker.
I've been ridiculously busy with the start of school, and am just now returning to checking out the blog world again.....Have a blessed day!....Jodi

At 1:43 AM, Blogger HeyJules said...

Val, I'm so HUGELY proud of you I could bust at the seams! Giving your daughter that kind of reassurance to be out on her own is the greatest gift you could have given her right now.

Way to be a mom, Val. :-)

At 4:13 AM, Blogger ukok said...

Oh, Valerie, this was so heart wrenching to read, but you relayed your expeience of 'turning the page' beautifully.

Our Blessed Mother is such a poweful intercessor! I'm thankful to God that TP is able to take these brave new steps and because of your kindness and supportiveness, she will never be far from you in heart or mind.

Thanks be to God, for He is Good, for His Mercy endures forever.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Julana said...

I can imagine how hard that is. I don't know if anyone but a parent could understand it.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger TC said...

I am so happy to hear that TP is doing well. It is amazing to look back to see how far she has come.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess said...


It is truly a tough time. Both of you are now on a different journey which will converge and go apart and converge again. You will absolutely be astounded at the beautiful friend you will have when she graduates. There is nothing quite as wonderful as your friendships with your daughters. I'm sure that is why God made daughters :)

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Mrs. Diamond said...

I am proud of you. You've been through so much. Glad she is doing well at college.

God bless

At 12:55 AM, Blogger Stacy said...

So right Val, that is what our efforts bring forth. So proud and sad all at the same time.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Beautiful Val...

How lovely that you were able to give her that reassuance at the time - I cannever think of the right things to say at the right time - only after do I think of it - and then it is too late...

Wil continue to keep TP and the rest of you in my thoughts and prayers. In two years' time this could be me!!

At 11:49 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Hi Jodi - It's good to hear from you again. I actually thought a lot about you this summer as I was going through all of this preparation for college. It take quite a lot of emotional and physical and financial effort, doesn't it?!

Jules - Thank you, my friend. :-)

Ukok - It still tugs at my heart strings whenever I think of her. I've had to rely on Mary a lot lately!

Julana - It was very difficult, as you can well imagine.

TC - Yes, looking back always puts it into perspective for me!

Gina - I am looking forward to that stage of our relationship!

Mrs. D - Thank you so much!

Stacy - Yes, quite conflicting emotions, that's so very true. But you're right - well worth our efforts!

Barbara - and the two years will absolutely fly by. . .

At 11:05 PM, Blogger annb said...

Valerie, Thank you for the kind comment on my Blog and thank you for sharing it with CWO. I have found a great source of wisdom through many of the blogs I read on Christian Women Online Blog Ring. Thank you.

What a blessing - to send your child away to college! I have three grown daughters and a 16-year old son. You're right, your daughter will need you in different ways now and the blessings will just continue to grow and grow! Even though my daughters are all Mothers themselves, I too, remember my babies as if it were yesterday! When children are grown and leave their parent's home, it's such a blessing to know that with God's guidance and direction, these children will continue to share His message by their actions, their deeds and their words!

At 2:18 AM, Blogger see-through faith said...

It is her time ... and it's great you recognise it. I think it's wonderful that she misses you but not home .. homesickness can wreck everything. She's inthe right place for this season. Rejoice with her


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