With not much to do on a Sunday afternoon, I dug out my very favorite Gilmore Girls DVDs and curled up on the couch with the space heater kicking next to my feet. I have written before about how I loved the GG and how I mourned a little when they went off, and today I was feeling a little nostalgic for some fast-talking, girl-themed fun.
I started with the first DVD of season 4, when Rory goes to college. I love those episodes, when Rory goes off to Yale and misses her Mommy. Today while I was watching it I was thinking back to the day my parents dropped me off at college and what a strange thing it turned out to be.
I grew up in Florida, but I chose to go to college in North Carolina. All summer I was planning what to take, packing up some things, saving money to buy winter clothes for the frigid north, and figuring out how to get myself to orientation. My parents ended up renting a minivan for the trip and we took all the seats out of the back so I could fit everything inside. We left at four in the morning and arrived in Greensboro around two in the afternoon.
My room was on the third floor, but luckily there was an elevator, and because I was moving in early for a freshman leadership thing, there weren't many people in need of the elevator. It was about 100 degrees and we sweated and unloaded box after box. My mom helped me put sheets on my bed so I felt a little settled and then they had to go.
They had to leave.
They wanted to drive part of the way back so that they could return the van on time. The dorm was practically empty and my parents got all of 2 hours there with me that day. They left and I had no tv, no fridge and no roommate just yet. My mom cried when she hugged me, and my dad just told me to learn lots. Then they were gone.
And I was alone at college. In a different state.
That was the only time my dad got to see the college. He died in the middle of my junior year and it was a difficult time, of course. But I felt like he didn't really get to experience the place that was my world for four years. The place where I really grew up. The place where I met who I would ultimately end up being, the place that taught me about boys and friendship and what it means to be there for someone. I think college has the potential to be an amazing time for anyone who really lets themselves live it. And I did.
I talked to my mom about that first day years later. I told her how it felt so abrupt that they couldn't stay longer when they moved me in to my room, and how dad hadn't seemed that emotional. Which was strange, considering I was his little girl. She shared a secret. A good one. She told me that on the way out of Greensboro that day, my dad was driving, and he had to pull over because he was crying so hard he couldn't see.
How sweet is that?
It has been a big dad weekend around here. Sometimes he really stays with me and it is in those times that I miss him more. We have been working on our nursery, and it seems so wrong that he won't be around for that, just like he missed my college graduation and my wedding. Big moments that he would have recorded on film.
I guess I'm rambling on a little bit, and I already posted about my dad and the tire guage the other day, but Rory and Lorelai made me think about that day so long ago when his little girl went off to college. I was the first of us kids to graduate from college and the fact that I went so far away was a big step for our family.
I don't really know how to wrap this up, but I wanted to share a little more of my dad with you. Hopefully, the next post will be a little more upbeat.
Chia Seeds 101 by Joanne
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