May 19, 2019

It's a rainy Sunday morning here in Rochester. This spring seems to be coming slowly... I feel like we've yet to have a real stretch of nice, spring weather. But, maybe it's always like this and I'm just getting cranky in my old age!

Last weekend was Mother's Day and I had the added bonus of Erin coming home for the weekend. While I'd like to believe it was all for me, it was actually necessary to get ready for her summer job. She will be working at a nursing assistant at Charter House, the assisted living center that's a part of Mayo Clinic. They have a summer internship that allows students who are studying a medical field to get full time employment - 10 weeks, 40 hours per week. Most physician assistant grad programs require 500 hours of patient contact as a part of their application process, so this is a great way to get close to that goal.

So, the trip home last weekend was to get all the paperwork done - W-4, direct deposit, background check, physical, drug test (she passed :), etc. And it just so happened to be Mother's Day. Perfect.

Erin fit a lot into her three days at home - friends, family, golf - and then we sent her back to finish her last month of school. Drexel is on the quarter system, meaning three quarters of school this year. Erin didn't start until late September, so she doesn't finish until June 14th.

I'll be heading out to Philly one more time this year to help with the move out process. I don't even want to think about what the refrigerator looks like after 6 girls living there for 9 months... We will store much of her stuff out in Philly - no need to bring home winter clothes and school supplies. 

At Drexel, sophomores go to school year round - 4 quarters - so I keep reminding myself I want to really enjoy this summer and having Erin live with us one more time. After this, who knows.

But that's the way it's supposed to be. Kids grow up. They move out and start making their own life somewhere. We can't know what the future holds, so I know I shouldn't waste my time worrying about what's ahead.

The other big news for me is that my job in Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic has become a permanent position. After working as a contractor, I was hired as a limited tenure employee on a three year project back in 2016. That project finished, successfully, and now my position has been operationalized  - corporate speak for a full time gig with no strings attached. 

This is great news, and a big relief as I love my job and I love working for Mayo. And, this permanent status has me considering a new goal - grad school. Maybe it's a mid-life crisis as I approach my 50th birthday next month, but I'm looking into doing an online master's program in communications over the next couple of years. I've always thought about getting an advanced degree, but I guess life got in the way.

I graduated from college a long time ago... 28 years to be exact! I went right to work as a teacher, fell in love, got married and became a mom. When my job teaching television production at the high school level didn’t pay enough to make child care work, Dan and I decided I'd stay home with Shannon and Erin.

All was going according to plan until Shannon was diagnosed. But, in some strange turn of the universe, Shannon has led us each to where we are today. I got my first gig at Mayo as a freelancer thanks to the writing I did here on this blog and in our book. I now get to tell stories of hope and healing and medical breakthroughs thanks to Shannon.

And Erin is off in Philly studying medicine because of Shannon, too. Erin learned to be brave when her life was turned upside down at age 10. She is dreaming a big dream because she knows that life is short and precious and needs to be lived right here, right now.

And Dan is rooting for us both every step of the way. 

So, on we go. Spring is here, summer is coming and the three of us will get to be together again, even if only for a few months. I'm going to enjoy every minute.