The summer before my freshman year, we were reeling from Mom’s breast cancer diagnosis. It was 1983, and she was able to spend many days in the hospital recovering from her mastectomy. (Thirteen years later, Mom was furious when I had a “drive-through” mastectomy. My surgery was considered out-patient surgery, and I had to leave the hospital within 23 hours.) Mom’s tumor was encapsulated; a very rare kind of tumor. Her doctor told her no further treatment was necessary.
And so Mom spent the summer recuperating. I mostly remember her being very tired and resting a lot.
I was more nervous about beginning high school than worried about Mom’s cancer. Dad told us to trust God to heal Mom, and everything would be all right. So I did. God gave us twenty-six more years with Mom before He called her home.
Trusting God as I entered a big suburban high school was another story. My high school had 2,000 students enrolled; my class alone had 500 kids. Many of them had gone to the same junior high, so I struggled to make friends, being the “newbie” once again. My eighth grade class from my parochial school had scattered, and my classmates who attended my high school hadn’t been particularly friendly to me. I did make a few new friends that year. I also became involved in our church’s youth group. None of the kids in my eighth grade class attended youth group very often, so I mostly hung out with the older kids.
There was this boy that I knew vaguely in our youth group…that summer, I saw him once or twice, but as I was entering high school, he was entering college. God had a plan, but neither one of us knew it. Nineteen years after I was a freshman in high school, I would marry this boy.
Being in such a big high school had some advantages; I had excellent teachers and great classes. I had a mix of different kids in every class, which was good and bad. It was good, because I met a lot of different people. It was bad because it was hard to form really good friendships. I also was afraid to try-out for things that I loved to do. I never attempted to join the track team, because I thought I wouldn’t be good enough. I didn’t have the courage to try out for the school musical, so I volunteered to be an usher instead. The musical that year was The Music Man, and as my role as an “usherette” I was able to watch it several times. It’s still one of my favorite musicals!
I became much braver when I became a sophomore….
Janna of Mommy’s Piggy Tales began a project to share our youth with our children. Every Thursday, I will tell a story about my childhood as if I were telling it to my children. At the end of this project, I’ll have a collection of stories about my childhood for my children to keep, and hopefully treasure.