Sunday, January 18, 2009

more memories of my dad (gilmore girl style)

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.


Scrapper Mom said...

Well, I loved it. And yes, college was by far, the best days of my life. (as Bryan Adams would say).

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

Goodness daughter and I absolutely love The Gilmore Girls. Oddly, my dad passed away between my sophomore and junior years...I think the only time he visited my college was when I moved in freshman year.

The Graves' House said...

what a sentimental post! your dad sounds a lot like mine, he is very tenderhearted but doesn't like to show it often. btw, love gg. hated to see it go off the air and i secretly search for re-runs all the time:)

Anonymous said...

How blessed you were to have such a dad.

hunnybeemay said...

This was a sweet post. Don't applogize for talking about your dad again. it's your blog! You can talk about whatever you want and I for one love reading it!
I had to laugh when you referred to N.C. as the cold north! That's the Chicago girl in me :)
I love GG too. My husband used to record it for me when I had class, but he quit doing that after he accidently taped it over our wedding video. He still hasn't lived that one down. :)

Bird, Frizzy and Our Little Yaya said...

I liked the GG too. Can't say I have seen the entire series but I liked what episodes I did see. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I know your father is up in heaven smiling down on you as you all put your babies room together. I have no doubt that he has already met him or her and is keeping them safe until you can finally be united. Gotta pop over now and see what your good news is about.

Anonymous said...

My dear Sissy, I just found you and am tearing up reading your blogs. It's been such a long time. I found your blog through Drew's blog which I found on facebook. Geesh, it would've been much easier if you just had a facebook. :-) A bunch of us from youth group have reconnected and have even formed a group. hehe. Anyway, great to have found you, lets keep in touch!