Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Scans again....

So last January was a bit of a roller coaster with them finding a spot light up on the scans around the primary site.  Marshall was real worried about those scans and I guess he had a good reason.  So with having to do a PET scan and a biopsy to see if the cancer was back was not a happy house......with the waiting for the biopsy was very hard.  You have all that time to think and wonder and worry and such.  We were all bickering at eachother.  Anyway, biopsy came back negative and PET didn't show anything...phewf!!!!!

So hear we are with six months past already and scan time again.  Marshall went in on Monday night. He blessed us with his presence afterwards.... He moved out the week before you see....I'm still getting used to not hearing him call on me.....anyway, so we got the results.  So scans are clean but there is a spot they want to monitor so they want him back in 3 months for an MRI.  Apparently, they are not too worried but want to keep an eye on it sooner than later.....make sure it doesn't grow.  I have no idea yet if it's the same spot or a new one.  I am assuming same spot.  Clinic is tomorrow and Brian will go with him and get details.  I have to work.  I think that has happened every time......Well I did make a point to go to the last one since they "found" something.

Marshall has made it 3 years now.  I can't believe it.....we've gone thru alot with him and he has with himself in many ways.  It has been a long road for him but I think he's thru the worst of it.  I never thought of the emotional battle of it all.  Him having to come to terms with what his life is going to be like.  He will always have certain issues and I hate that.  It's hard when you can't make it all better for them and tell them that it will all be okay.   How it changed forever in a matter of minutes for him when he heard the words "cancer" He had a rough couple of years but is in a better place now.  Like I said, he moved out, took some of his Make a Wish furniture with him.  We had to buy new ones....LOL  We knew the day was looks real good in his house too.

He has a wonderful roommate, who he met at the hospital.  Marshall was going thru chemo and Jacob came in with Leukemia and was having a lot of issues medically.  Marshall went in and introduced himself and would visit when he was in and they have pretty much been inseparable ever since.  Jacob just finished his chemo in May.  So, Marshall will be good for him as he starts to get out of survival mode and really realize what all has gone on and his emotions of dealing with it.  They have been real good for eachother and i thank Our Lord every day for that.  A true gift.

Marshall is working hard working his way into Nursing school.  I am so proud of him.  He has  such a passion for his goal.  He will be great.

So everyday we move on.  I will always worry.  My heart will always skip a few beats and be nervous at scan time.  I won't let it stop me though.  My faith has continued to give me the strength.  I may hear the words I never want to hear again and I may not.  I am human and I will worry but I just keep telling myself what are you gonna do?  You can't live in fear the rest of your life.  I will loose opportunities that Our Lord may have given me....I don't want to regret it.  He is my son and I want to be proud of how i was as a mother to him.  I want to be an example to him as he is to me.  My hugs will always be a little tighter and longer......

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

1st round of 6 months Scans

Normally, we have done scans for the last two years every 3 was a constant emotional roller coaster......up and down and you almost were up and you would go down again.  So, this time is our first 6 month scan.  I loved actually got to push the emotions down and keep them at bay.  I have been preparing myself for today for the last month.....gearing up emotionally for the scans.....I swear you can never rest it seems.  oh well, what are you going to do?  Keep head up and your prayers strong!

I have stolen a glance or two at Marshall during Mass the 'few' times that he is able to go with us...sad when they get just tear up...I love that child soooo darn much!  He is such a blessing and a joy and yes....a pain in the neck at times, but hey, so am I.  Man....I look and can't imagine what goes thru his young little mind...what big worries and thoughts he has had to think about and will for the rest of his life.  How scared he must be every time he has to get scanned.  Each time can make or brake your future.  His life is put on hold until he hears the word "Clean".  So young to have to deal with that emotionally and physically.....We need to remember that these kids are tough as nails and are our hero's, but they are also human and have a lot of pressure and weight put on them.

Many, well all of them are such troopers and always with a smile...but they are scared and terrified and who knows what else....I would you feel every time....ok, getting my body scanned to see if I will be living for another 6 months or if this is it. Can you imagine?  I can't...I can imagine from a mother's point of view....and man.....ugh!  Is my son going to live and have a life for 6 more months....?  Gosh, am I becoming whiny and one of those parents that depress you?  I sure hope not....I never want to be that.  I guess I just have to get this out every time or something.  But unfortunately it is my reality....I pray I don't have to face that.......

Marshall is basically an adult and I can't just put him on my lap and hold him tight...I really want to!  I really just want to hug and not let go...and cherish that feeling and love.  With him being old...I don't want to make him uncomfortable...LOL  At least I have what he calls me and no one can take that away! "Mommy"  and the way he says it...will never forget's unique and only Marshall says it that way.....that is my gift I assume....

Well, I will stop making myself tear up darn it...I love you, Marshall!!!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Three Years Ago Today!!!

Three years ago today, I got the call that we all had been waiting fo.....for 11 long days from the biopsy results.  I remember the phone ringing, where I sat at the kitchen table. Writing down what she said.  It was Ewings Sarcoma and he had a tumor in his lung (which we found out the next day...multiple tumors in both lungs).  I have been reliving three years ago since August 31st, the appointment that got the ball rolling and from there the ball just went faster and faster.  I didn't even cry.  I didn't cry when I called Brian, Mom, Dad and Clara....I was just matter of fact. I remember seeing Marshall and Catherine getting of the bus, and walking.  Brian came home.  When they came in we asked Marshall to sit down.  He knew, He even told the surgeon who performed the biopsy in his hip and tried to get it out of the doctor what he had...LOL!  I give Marshall an "A" for trying his darndest to have the doctor say it.  A friend had called St Henry's and later on Father Steve came by.  It was basically a "nice to meet you" we hadn't ever officially met or anything.  the parish is huge.....well, now we are all very well acquainted with both him and Father Johnston.

I have tried not to think about it but it just pops up when I least expect it.  During Mass, these last couple of Sundays, I have had to hold back the tears.  I am not even thinking of Marshall at the moment, but the Holy Spirit is EVER so present so why not.  He sees all, He helps you see all.  I am not a basketcase, which is good....I would hate that!!!!! I expect to be better by now, feel it less.....I know it will get better and yes, I am better than a year ago.  I have to cling on to my faith and Our Lord to help me continue to march on this journey.  We hit 2 years in remission in June, so we are closer to the big 5 year (the 1 in 5 survives in 5 years) So, maybe I am getting nervous......maybe I am just in a funk right now.  I am allowed one right?  It doesn't mean I am any less strong or faithful.  

I know everything is out of my hands, I have known it, I know it, and I know it's the way it's going to be.  I will continue to love life and enjoy it.  I will not let some of my fears take over.  They will be there but they will be hidden.  No one wants to hang around a depressed person all time and only talking about the fears.  No one wants to constantly cheer a person up.  So, Yes I am scared, but I will live with it.  I give it to Our Lord.  It's in His hands.

I will unfortunately relive three years ago for the next week with meeting the Oncologist, staring at scans and listening to the Oncologist explain everything to you very bluntly, P.E.T scan, lung biopsy, hickman put in and walking into the room for the first time where Marshall received his 1st chemo treatment.  That smell, the look and feel!  I have done it every year and I guess this is my way of dealing with it.  You couldn't deal with it in the thick of it.  No time, you had to be strong. Maybe this is a normal process as a parent.  Maybe I am totally normal.  I almost lost my child, I still can loose my child...I personally don't know how else to act.  I didn't get the "cancer memo" on what to do or how I would feel and react.  I am doing the best I can!!! I will never be the same again.  I don't like that.  I really don't but I can't do anything to change it.  I am what I am at this point.  I am not normal and never will be again, some might argue that I wasn't quite normal to begin with!!  I have to make my "new normal" I guess I am like a baby..I am learning how to do all this.  I am trying certain things and either they work or not.  Of course, I am speaking in "emotional and mental" terms....what do you think I am supposed to think everytime I see one of Marshall's bullet holes, stab wounds or shark bite?  It takes you right there!!! Like I have said before...we have given them names....and laugh at it.

I don't know what I was expecting out of this blog.  I think I just needed to write...just type what is in my head and go with the flow.  I have wanted to write for awhile now, but have been distracted and said I would do it later.  I needed to do this today, get it off my chest!  It's Friday!!!!! Thank goodness!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Scans already again?

I don't know what happened but it's scan time again.  I had it in my mind that Marshall wouldn't have them until June, for his two year remission.  I came home from work last Wednesday night.  Everyone was already eating and Brian informed me that Marshall had scans on Monday.  I said no, he has them in June.  He said no, this is three months.  I felt like i got hit in the face with a wall.....I had been telling everyone,, what that does to you emotionally.  It's the quickening of your heart until you hear of the news.  You always have it at the back of your mind...what if?  You know they will be clean, but what if?  You know he is in Our Lord's precious hands, but what if?  We are in better shape than some and worse than others, but still it doesn't take that what if? out of your mind.

Catherine (17) sent me an email of a letter she wanted me to look at that she is going to send to the SIBS Camp (camp for siblings with a sibling with/had cancer or passed away.  They are canceling it this year i guess due to funds.  The kids are all real upset and saddened.  Anyway,  I read her letter and it made me tear up.  What she had to go thru, and deal with because of Marshall.  She grew up even faster because of this because a lot of responsibility was put on her as Brian and I were at the hospital when Marshall was.  Of course, one of us was always home when Marshall was spending the night, but she became a Mother of sorts for that long 9 months of our lives.  We were tough for the kids and Marshall and they were tough for us.  This SIBS camp is a great outlet for the siblings.  They all have something in common.  They all 'get it'  and it's a place where you can scream, cry, laugh, and bond.  Friendships that are so strong and never will be broken even though some of them have only been with eachother for a week.  They still talk via text and i am so grateful for that.  Especially the older ones that really didn't talk much at home.  We did, but none of us REALLY did.  We are put on fronts for eachother.  I hate that they had to go thru that, but I couldn't have picked better children that Our Lord gave me and Brian.  They are strong!  We all have a silent bond with eachother as a family because of this.  It's unspoken but it's there.  I didn't realize it until this morning reading Catherine's letter.

We have moved on, but we are still held back.  We always will and there is nothing wrong with that, i don't even know what it is like anymore to be normal and think like normal people.  I know it will get better...try telling that to my heart that loves my child so damn much!  I can't dwell on "what if?" I will do my best not to today...but I am a mother.

Yesterday being Easter and Our Lord dying on the Cross on Good Friday I always go back to what the Blessed Mother went thru and felt. I can't imagine watching your son die.  I can understand the sorrow of watching your son tortured and brought to his knees. Granted what they did to Our Lord is nothing compared to Marshall, but from a mother's point of's hard to watch and have no control over the situation.

I am blessed to have my son with me to enjoy Easter and the daily routines.  Many mothers don't have their children, they have gotten their "angel wings"  I have nothing to complain about.

I just have been feeling like i needed to write again in my blog.  Life is good, we are all healthy and today the sun is out!!!!! We are alive and all of us were given that chance to be in Heaven for Eternity.  May you live your lives to the fullest and live as Our Lord would want you to.  This life was not meant to be "heaven" and that is pretty obvious....heehee.  I have seven beautiful children and a wonderful husband.  God is good!  Go hug your children today and let them know how much you love them.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Two Year Anniversary of Diagnosis...where am I now

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of Marshall's diagnosis.  I remembered the day before and leading up to it....and we had a situation happen the night before, I was so consumed with the hurt and anger, that i didn't remember until later in the day.  I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing?   Good in the sense that i don't live my life according to reliving every second in the past of all the awful emotional and physical toll we had to go thru and witness. Bad in the sense....i got carried away with as a friend had to remind me that with all i have been thru with Marshall, this is just a car, and a paint job.  It's unimportant in the scheme of what is precious.  When reading what she was telling me.....I needed to be reminded of what is important.  Thank goodness for true friends that can bring you back to what is important.  yes, there are times where you need to vent and get things out, but sometimes you can get carried away and so absorbed in what you are feeling that you can't see the big picture.  Yes, i am still infuriated and hurt with what immature, disrespectful kids did that was supposed to be a fun night of goofy games to an ambush with rotten eggs to 4 cars.  We work hard to give our kids what they need, and struggle to have a car necessary for the kids to get to work and places.  We take on a few bills that we weren't planning on but want to provide that for them.  And in a quick moment, people take that all away pride and think it's funny to destroy private property.  See, now you can see how much this consumed me if i am going on like this now, you should have seen me yesterday.....Heck, it made me cry i was so hurt and mad.....but like i said just a few sentences brought me back to reality.  I was able to carry on with the rest of my day.  Thank you, my dear!!!

I will never forget that day.  I was home and got the call.  It will always be fresh in my mind.  i remember where i was sitting, the scrap paper i had to write all that she was telling me.  how i paused when she mentioned the tumor in his lung....which wasn't one.....but i think she said that so not to have me panic.  I remember calling my sister and telling her very calmly the news, and my parents, and i made my rounds imagine how long that took....heehee.  i didn't cry....i was ok....i knew already and think i had just accepted it.  thank goodness i had no clue what was too happen.  it wasn't totally real yet.  We told marshall when he got home from school.  We called the parish and Father came by.  From the very beginning we had our faith and support we didn't have a clue was slowly building.  it became more real for me in the coming days.  meeting his oncologist, looking at the scans, hearing we need more scans, a biopsy in his lung to confirm, the things he talked about marshall's future, some side effects, outcome isn't great, it will be hard, and you have to be yesterday, was the calm before the storm for me. we moved so fast.  i am trying to remember, we met with the oncologist today, then tomorrow was the PET scan, the next was biopsy, and the next Oct 8th was first chemo.   this was a busy week for all of us.  i remember most the impact of meeting the oncologist.  i had to be strong from the very beginning.  there was no time to really understand it.  people coming over..being strong for them, kids at home....being strong for them....friends calling....being strong for them.....always being positive....but i wasn't able to really have my cry and be alone until prob the next week.  i will never forget going to blackstone for lunch while marshall was in for  was the first weekend of chemo....we went out to lunch...i remember hearing a couple complaining about something soooo stupid.  it hit me.  my life is changed forever!  i will never be the same again.  i looked at brian and said...i get it now....i totally get immediately think and look at the world thru different eyes. like you got a new pair and you are trying to make sure their the fit for you but things are blurry and you can't adjust to make your eyesight like it was.  it's a new pair...and you have them for life.  get used to it.  i wanted to say something to this couple.....and say...well, at least your child is not dying of cancer, i think you have it pretty shut up!  i at least had brian to help me explain things....gosh, don't know what i would have done if we were both spring chickens (is that the right meaning?) so, some of my shock was able to be explained to me by it works, chemo....the marshall is....i don't want to ever relive this again, but am glad i have.  it opened my eyes to a world that is forgotten or ignored.  we focus so much on unimportant things....heehee guilty!!!!!
Everything happens or is allowed for a reason.  Like little Lane Goodwin who is dying from his 3 time of having cancer.  He is 13 and should have been dead a couple of weeks ago.  he keeps going and going and is getting close and it has been hard for me to keep up on him, but i do every morning afternoon and evening.  he is an example of what these children are made of.  the fact that he is ready and has accepted death but is still giving a thumbs up.  can we do that?  wouldn't we be angry?  he is enjoying every second of his life and at the same time making an awareness of Childhood Cancer and the need for more research and funds.  others are now realizing that only 4% of the money that is given is going towards Childhood Cancer research.  the other 96% is going towards adult research.  these kids are our future.....why only 4%  without them we have nothing.  They will be taking care of us soon...but not if we don't help lower the deaths and diagnosis of children.
you will never be affected by the visual of kids with cancer unless you go to Cancer floor in a your walking to your child's look into all the rooms or see them walking around with their "peter" poles, or on tricycles or wagons just to get them out of rooms....looking at their faces, the tubes coming out of them, the crying of babies at night all want to go in there and just hold them tight and love them like your know that some of these little babies, kids, toddlers, teenagers and young adults will not be here.  i teared up every single time i walked in and walked out of marshall's floor....and do you know how many times i did that?  wheather it was to go refill my taco bell extra large drink, go have lunch, go home or just get some air.  it never changed my love and sorrow for these precious a visiting dog could make their day.  how one of the kids, marshall at one time would go from room to room with a pizza and ask if they wanted one and seeing a lonley teenager who had relapsed for the second time, his smile that he had a it made marshall smile too and they laughed and enjoyed what it did for eachother.
life is hard, but these kids shouldn't be doing the work for us.  we should be doing it for them.
this week will be all reflection for me as to where i was and where i am now.  Marshall has scans on, as i mentally remember, we will be going thru the typical hold your breath....praying it's not back....your heart beating faster for the week....your a little more anxious....but Our Lord's will be done.  It is out of my hands and in His.  It always was and always will be.  yes, i may freak out, worry but there isn't a darn thing i can do to change it.  Lane's parents can't make him not die.  They too are a beautiful example.  they are praying for a miracle, or no pain and peace for Lane.  That's how you be  a parent to a dying child with Cancer.  You don't let the monster grow in your heart or around you.  Gosh, to know that possibly i will have to go thru what they are is so hard to consider.  you pray you never do, you feel bad that yours is the one that survived.....i know when i was terrified that that tumor that was still there when we didn't get the words "remission"  i looked at all the surviving parents and kids and i was like...why mine?  why me?  i can't do this.  I don't want to be the one to sacrifice my's hard to look and watch them and many other families are facing death for their kids.  some are quick and only 3 years old and last months, some have lasted three years with fighting it multiple times.....some never see it again.
i know that we will in some form or fashion.  i know that.  with his young age and all the side effects of the chemo and radiation....i am not, yes, i have to be prepared and accepting for the possiblity.  i am not gonna say it's never gonna come back bc if you are not prepared then you get the life sucked out of you if and when it comes back.  you have to be realistic.  but in the meantime, i am gonna love his smile, his smell, hearing him off in the distance, hearing him play his xbox and feel the sound vibrating up here....and pray that i never have to go thru it again.
well, i best be going.  have a house to clean and clothes to wash.....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


The kids had a surprise visit from Marshall this last weekend.  It was a last minute decision and he asked if we could not tell the kids so he could surprise them.  There was a couple of double takes when he walked in the various rooms where the kids were all spread out.  it was great to see the smiles and joy from both the kids and Marshall.  It was nice as, Mama, to just hear him clear his throat off in the distance.  I heard and smelled My Marshall.  I had my first experience of how giddy my mother would get when we came home.  I always wondered why she was THAT i know. you get all giddy, jump up and down and you heart along with your face is smiling from ear to ear.  We were hoping to have all the kids for Mass on Sunday but Catherine had to work but she got home in time for brunch.  It was a great weekend.  He might be home this weekend for a wedding but will be returning quickly back the next week for his fall break.  he has scans in a couple of weeks.....ugh!!! here we go again...holding your breath (not yet...when it gets closer)

He looks great, he has even gotten a littler bigger (muscular). that made him happy and smile.  he has been busy with pledging and it keeps him busy along with his homework and trying to get a job.  he has gotten a job...we are thrilled....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

College Bound

A week ago today we all got in our 12 passenger van and headed to Knoxville, TN to drop Marshall off at UTKnoxville. He was so excited the weeks leading up to it and i was excited for him.  People would ask me "are you falling apart", "is is hard", what are you going to do" well, last year and in the beginning of summer, i would tell them "I'm not thinking about it, i have the whole summer with my son, so why bother" then as it got closer, it became more real and Marshall would bring it up.  He would say "sorry mom, but I'm so excited" i told him i know........then people would continue to ask the same questions and my new answer was "well, as it's getting closer and i am buying, preparing, and getting him ready it makes me tear up every time i talk about it" i swear at work it was daily.......but i was so happy for him and all.  the fact that he gets to go to college is wonderful for me.  so what he is 3 hours away, he is alive and i would rather that then the other option.  i am so blessed to be his mother.  to have gone thru all we went thru.  yes, i said i am blessed.  you can't ever take away what we all went thru as a family, parent, sibling or patient.  what we learned or gained thru all of his treatments has gotten us here right now.  I appreciate him and my kids more. I cry when i hear that these young children are given 3 months to 2 years to live.  i cry when i hear of a child that has died and gone to Heaven.  I cry for the parents that have lost one of the most precious gifts they have ever received. i cry for the siblings that have an open hole in their heart that their sibling left when they died. look, i don't want to get all depressing and I'm not.  i don't cry all the time.......i tear up....LOL.  let's get this straight.......i am not a "baller" i never do...okay, i had a few break downs when we were dealing with Marshall.  I admit that. I can't let myself loose control and i try to look at the good and positive.  Like leaving my Marshall in Knoxville.  ugh!

The drive there was the longest.  It seemed longer than going to the beach, which i would have preferred.  i think it was long for everyone in the car.  thankfully we have great friends with 4 kids that now live there.  so, i asked them this summer if they would want 8 visitors for the night.  she was more than welcoming.  you know when you have friends that you don't see all the time, more time than actually seeing them but when you get together it's like no time has passed.  you pick up where you left off?  well, they are one of those people.  we don't have to impress each other, we relax, laugh ( a lot) and share some drinks, forget the kids are outside playing at 11 pm (well, i did)  even the kids do the same.  they just all pick up where they left off.

anyway, we get there and drop off Catherine, Elizabeth, Sean and Aidan at their house and we take Patrick and Colin to help us move Marshall in.  So, my heart starts to beat a little faster and harder as i look ahead at the interstate and try to figure out what is UTK gonna look like, where is it, is it busy? I'm so glad i wasn't driving and poor Brian probably wished he wasn't either with me and Marshall being back seat drivers (go this way) well, i wanted to go that way but ok.....well,'s where i didn't want to go....well, turn off and go back.........this is a one can't turn left says no U-Turn.....can we park in the fraternity parking says permit the meeting they said you won't get towed......why don't we park on the side of the road....we can't fit in's too far of a walk.........why did the cop let him go straight but he made us turn..........oh, look....there's a Father Ryan sticker.....where's the's over there...i think it's over the it's right behind those buildings......why are the inner roads all closed down.........i can't believe he thinks he's going to cut in when all these people have been sitting in a line to turn....nope they are not letting him in......just park here......there is no yellow paint or anything.....many of these conversations or statements had tension in them...let me tell you.  Brian was short temperwise on the drive over.  so....

we park, then we get the things out of the car.....i had to take my purse...really...huge thing...Brian wanted to make two runs and i was saying one...Marshall was telling us to calm down it's  i said leave the two detergents and coat and we can give those to him this makes Brian carry a rubbermaid that is long but not too tall (under the bed) and it has stuff in it but it's light......i try to help to get a bad out of it and he makes me put it in....i swear just to prove a point....he's mad.....he has to carry that which is ok but slightly awkward and the top which looks like it's going to snap in half....i tell him to give me the top bc all i am carrying is two bags which are ok but as you walk it gets heavier and heavier.  Marshall takes the 7x12 roll of carpet which he kept saying was "lite"  Colin had some things and Patrick had Marshall's roller suitcase.  Marshall kept grunting and huffing and was getting heavier and i take the roller suitcase and Patrick helps Marshall with the carpet.  they are at each end....brilliant idea Bridget...i take the suitcase and look ahead and there are like 20 steps......really,, i just drag, pull it up each eloquently (NOT) we are sweating, dripping, and getting tired....i look ahead and i see more steps, and grass...hmmmmmm i take the grass and weave my way back to the others.....get directions and wind our way thru the people, wagons, furniture, and stuff EVERYWHERE.  we find Reese (his dorm) and he signs in and the boys go up to the 5th floor (stairs mind you) and i stay down bc they can't take everything.  Marshall as so done with the carpet.....poor guy.  i waited and people watched forever it seemed.  i had to keep my laugh to myself when i would see students, parents and siblings come in dripping, huffing and puffing and clueless....i guess that's what we looked like.

eventually, Patrick and Colin come down (they got lost?) and we take up the remaining stuff.  hmmm, smelly stairs..all the sweat and's thick the air is you can cut it.  lines and lines of people and stuff your trying not to get poked with.  you want to keep your eyes and body parts.  people dropping stuff running into walls and railings....not seeing the things in front of them.....just get me out of here.  so, i make it to the hall....hmmmm is all i can stinks too i just want fresh air.....they take me to Marshall's room...and they are trying to roll out the carpet so i am outside with the fridge, microwave and sitting there.  Marshall's fellow classmate comes from across the hall and introduces himself and asks what they are doing and i tell him.  i look at the hall and i see wooden bedframes, futons, dressers......really?  you can't even breathe in your dorm let alone all that.  finally they get it all rolled out and of course the door won't open unless you hold the carpet down.  oh well.  we are unpacking, his roommate is not there yet which is good.  there was five of us and that was a lot for the room.  i made the bed for Marshall (he asked me the week before if i would make his bed when he moved in...with his huge smile) he didn't have a lot so it was fairly easy.  i as a mother go and check out the shower and toilet (i just couldn't live like that....just couldn't) he is in a suite where 4 people share a toilet and shower.  so there are two rooms with two people in each.  it's better than the 'down the hall stalls'.  the shower is huge..the toilet...clean but eeewwwww.  i just couldn't!

Marshall forgot his flip flops (of course).  i need to get him a rug for the shower, but i don't know if one of the other mother's got one.  i need to ask. he will probably say they don't need it.  he didn't even want an umbrella....he's a man he said......he was so 'basic' in the getting of stuff it wasn't that much fun.  it was fun being with him that Tuesday.  i treasured that time i had with him, but he just didn't care as much as a girl would on colors, designs...etc.  i knew it would be that way...cheaper let me tell you, but i would have gobbled up anything my mom was offering to buy for me....heck, who knows you might need or want it.

we got him all unpacked and i was worried about the car.  hoping it wasn't towed away...but didn't want to leave Marshall.  i asked him again if he wanted to spend the night with us...and nope...ok, i hug him and tell him i will see him tomorrow.  he was just ready to get his barrings and have some fun.  i don't blame him.  we  went back to our friends house and proceeded to have a great night....took my mind off of Marshall which was good.  the next day, we said our thank yous and goodbyes...and went to Mass on campus and met up with Marshall.  Man, they would not let you stand in the back.  i was waiting for Brian and just trying to take it all in......and they were like there are chairs over there, here, and back there....go sit....I'm like, i have 9 people I'm trying to sit and just let me think for a bit...then another person did the same....and so Marshall had walked in and poked me in the back to push me to move bc they were now getting on him.  so of course we are in the front side....and a mother and child move to the center of the room just so we could sit in front and behind each other.   Mass was interesting...Marshall later on was like "i don't know what to think of the Mass" i told him i was curious what it was going to be like and it was a little better than i was expecting but yes, it's different.  After Mass, Marshall asked if we could take him out to eat bc his meal plan wasn't starting til tomorrow.  we all went to Applebee's and had a great time.  i soaking in every minute and second with Marshall.  not wanting to leave him here......he has to be with me know...?  we finish, go to Walmart to pick up a few things. and then go to his dorm....can't we walk slower?  can't time freeze for awhile?  i don't want to leave him.  we go up to his dorm and the kids all get to see what it looks like.  we see his roommate, and again the guy from across the hall comes over.  we are sitting and standing...i get my two tissues ready and close by.  i am not wanting to say goodbye....i am not.  but we need to go.  he has to workout before some freshman thing at 5.  so everyone says goodbye......i hug him and tell him i love him and tear up......but didn't shed.  again another round of goodbyes and i have to hug him again....i teared up but didn't shed!  oh, you mean i have to walk out of here?  i don't want to.  i have to leave him?  what am i gonna do?  we walk out and are taking it all in.  we get in the car and it already has changed.  it's different without him.  we drive home and i miss him.  i think of him the whole drive back...i miss him.  we get home and just eat leftovers. i miss him.  it's quiet.  yes, he wasn't home that much but you still knew he was here and coming home.  i seem to be waiting for him to come thru that door at night and tell me about his day/night and that he's home.  i am waiting for him to tell us that he's going to go downstairs for a bit and then go to bed.  i am waiting to ask him what his plans are for tomorrow.  i am waiting for him to tell me what he needs to get and if he can get a few shirts or shorts.  i am waiting for him to ask me if there is a load in the washer bc he needs to wash some clothes.  i am waiting for him to get him a glass of his sweet tea.  i am waiting to hear his laugh and stories at dinner.  i am waiting for that big smile that i love so much.  i am waiting for him to call me "mommy"  he does that now......LOL he has his own way of saying it.  i am waiting to hug him and he wraps his arms around me and bends his head down bc i am that short now to him.  i am waiting to tell him i love him so much.  i am waiting for him to tell me he loves me, i am waiting to see him in his Nike's with his black long socks pulled up to his mid calf, i am waiting to smell him when he comes down freshly showered and leaves....the smell he leaves behind him.

my mom said it so perfect that when i left the air was heavy and still.  she is so right.  even though we still have 6 kids here, it's different without him.  there is a hole in the family.  i know it's apart of life and growing up.  i know i missed my family when i left for trivium and all, but never thought about my parents side.  she always gets so excited when those of us are gone come home for a visit.  and gives us these big, hard hugs....i get it now.  you live for your kids and enjoy their company.  they make what your family is.  each has a position and together you make a family.  when one is gone the dynamics change.  it's out of balance.  but you get your groove and just adjust to the change.  i can't wait to see Marshall in October!  it will be bittersweet.  We get to see him but he also has scans....ugh!

i just can't believe that i have a child in college.  i have a mini adult in one of my children.  now, Catherine is on her way.  she is driving now, today is her first day of work.  she is growing up.  now, i am looking at these children....these pain in the necks sometimes....these precious souls and they are all going to become like me one day.  they are going to leave and either get married or a religious vocation.  they will have their own family and all.  the cycle just keeps going and going.

i am so happy for him and sad for me and all of us.  we miss him dearly.  i pray Our Lord watches over him. the Blessed Mother protects him.  All the angels and saints watch over and protect him.  It's up to him now.  he is on his own and has to make his own decisions.  you pray you raised him well enough with a strong faith.     as a parent it's natural to worry.  GREAT!

To Marshall and the rest of his life God Willing!!!!!