Monday, March 26, 2012

dream adjustments

it has been a week since it seemed our world
was shattering
piecing together a new dream is the work at hand

thank you to everyone who shared hearts and stories
and hope
with us here at the message board of the blog
as well as personal emails
means the world to me and our family

I wanted to share a bit about the process
of the last week
each step was major internal work
and I definitely could not have done it alone...

on Monday evening last week, we got the phone message
that was devastating
and I knew that I was going to have to dig very deep
to find a new way other than the depression
and anger that I felt towards myself for not
having "plan # 2" in place
Bryan assured me that he would not have been a willing
participant in making a backup plan of applying to MIZZOU
and I assured him that I should have found the way
to make it seem like a good idea.

anyway, what was unfolding was the very serious fact
that we were most likely too late to get certain elements
of financial aid from MIZZOU because of deadlines past.

what I was not processing at the time was the fact that
Bryan was still being offered a substantial academic scholarship
from Columbia College - 70% off tuition - and I needed to remember that
and see how and if we could make something work

on Tuesday, I called his guidance counselor at Hickman
and had a good cry and listened to her insight and her
clear advice for me to get my act together and stop blaming myself
and that she believed Columbia College to be a good fit for Bryan...

I realized that I needed to settle things in my heart and mind
Bryan and Gary and I all had questions about what had happened
I needed the answers and most importantly I needed
to help with the dream adjusting that Bryan needed to move forward

there was only one thing to do:
communicate and set up a meeting with Columbia College
as soon as possible
as soon as I could know that my emotions were in the right place
waiting was not an option
so knowing that I had the day off from work to have treatment day
on Wednesday morning,
I emailed and asked for a meeting in the early
afternoon... I took a piece of paper and wrote down what I needed
to ask
went for treatment and that went fine - I have been on a chemo break
for two months
and on that day, I was taking the least amount of anything
since the very beginning of cancer 5 1/2 years ago
my tumor markers were up a bit
so I am on Tamoxifen again, but there was this good feeling
that I had lost 20 pounds - because I wanted to - and I can
stay off chemo for at least another month when I will have a CAT scan
to make sure we stay ahead of the game...

so, the juggling act of dealing with this cancer thing
seemed so small in comparison to my concerns about Bryan

it turned out to be a very important and significant meeting:
we could finally understand why we had to wait until the very end:

Bryan was in the position of # 12 out of 135 scholarship day participants
competing for 10 awards
in years past, there has always been one or two students
who have decided to decline, going to another school, etc...
so there was a chance that if that happened, the # 11 & 12 students
would be the 1st and 2nd alternates.
that did not happen...

it was a long and heartfelt conversation
I learned a lot about certain aspects of the "politics" of the process
and clearly saw the frustration of the counselor who still
believed that Bryan should have been one of the top winners.
Bryan has a strong advocate there in this person.
I did ask all our questions, and when the counselor said
that Columbia College would experience a real loss,
would not be as great of a place if Bryan Page was not there,
I agreed with him.

He said that he would do everything in his power to get as much
monetary aid in Bryan's corner as he could
Bryan can have a job in the Admissions Office (that would be great)
...there is a lot more but I am trying to pull the main points

The most important thing that needed to happen was a meeting
between Mr. Kruse and Bryan personally
that did happen that same afternoon
they were going to connect by phone but as it turned out
Bryan stayed after school to support his girlfriend and her music lesson
and I picked him up just before the phone call was to happen
so we just drove straight to the College
and Bryan went in alone to meet with him

it was a very important meeting
it was the beginning point of healing

the way the dream is defined has been altered
Bryan will not live on campus and we talked that out
with the counselor and feel strongly that he can still have
as complete an experience as he makes it...

as it turned out, Mr. Kruse was going to the hospital
the next day for surgery that would put him out of the office
for at least a week, so the timing was crucial that we all
communicated last Wednesday

we are in the process of reworking everything
the thing that Bryan was saddest about:
he had been looking forward to using the college fund that
we do have for him in other creative ways, such as taking
trips with his brother...
now all the money needs to go to tuition and books

I told them both that such a worthy dream is meant to come true
so let's keep moving forward together and adjust that dream
not dismiss it
or lose it
but hold tight and see the light of another new day

the other night
on Friday
Gary Bryan and I decided to watch a couple of light tv shows
that we had recorded
it was the beginning of Spring Break and the end of an ordeal
we endured together

at one point, there we were, all in our chairs, couch, whatever
and we just all started laughing at the silliest dumb thing on the show
it struck all of us at the same time
and I saw the couch Bryan was on just going up and down from his
big laugh
Gary was throwing his head back laughing
and I let it out, too, in my usual boisterous
"you can always tell where Mom is in the audience" style...
we had not really laughed in weeks, now that is a loss
that needed to be fixed and we fixed it

Brandon came and spent time with us yesterday
and everything seems more peaceful.

there are many things to be learned from what we have experienced
it is going to take me time to get the realizations
and that is okay.

"Keep calm and carry on."
I have that saying right over my head in my room.
Good idea to do it. 

1 comment:

  1. Gloria,

    I was hopeful that after you worked through the disappointment and grief, and perhaps had your questions answered, that you would see that Columbia College was still a viable option for Brian. (70% off tuition is great in these days and times. Plus, there are still other scholarships, grants, work study opportunities, and loans, etc. out there to check in to.)

    I did not want to say anything earlier because it appeared to be such a raw open wound. (Perhaps I should have.) A parent's grief and disappointment for their child is often so much worse that the child experiences themselves.

    Based on the research we did, I think Columbia College will still be cheaper, a better value, and a better fit for Brian than anywhere else comparable and close, (especially Mizzou). I like Mizzou, but Lauren's friend Emily got like a 39 on her ACT, is Brightflight, has an exceptional GPA, etc., etc., and still Mizzou did not even come close to the "automatic" scholarships that Lauren was offered by Columbia College.

    I am so thankful that you took the opportunity to meet with Columbia College and with Hickman's guidance counselor. I am still hopeful that Brian will have the opportunity to go to CC. It seems like such a natural fit to me.

    I think the dream of travel with the brother can still happen too. Again there are marvelous opportunities out there. Sometimes you just have to search and be open to explore things you might never have thought of before. America itself has such a vast array of travel worthy destinations. Youth hostels, church basements, campgrounds, etc. abound. And, you have a network of friends all across the country and elsewhere who might be willing to host a couple of talented and resourceful boys. (I know a certain person who published a book or two on the opportunities she seized with little or no knowledge of how it was going to come to pass, but come to pass it did.)

    Well I have rambled on long enough. If you wish to talk further, you know I am here for you and how to reach me. Don't be shy in doing so.

    Jeff G.