Emotional soup

The Class of 2020. Well they sure will have a lot to tell their kids when they are older. We can think of many ways to describe the year 2020. For me, it was the year of anticipation with Sam graduating and going off to college. But the pandemic changed everyones plans and I remember it felt like we were (and still are) working on a two week timeline. Lockdown in March and time passed by in two week increments. When will school open? Update in two weeks. You are in quarantine? Two weeks.

Yet it still was a shock last August when two weeks and two days before Sam was to leave for Chicago the school announced the dorms would not be open. He understood but the disappointment was so difficult for him and for us. Friends left for college. He stayed. Time marched in weeks and months.

And here we are- today he leaves.

Sam wanted zuppa toscana last night.

I love this soup too – lots of bacon and a rich cream base. As I am prepping the ingredients I have my thoughts wander…

Finally he gets to experience college, although rather modified. All but one class online. He has to screen twice a week for COVID. Mandatory two week quarantine for all students living on campus. No roommate. Social distance, masks and all organizations meet virtually.

Mixing in the chicken stock I feel a chaos of emotions. I am happy, scared, anxious. I am sad. Nolan should be here enjoying this soup with us, having our family dinner.

I know he is ready. Am I? Am I going to be able to have him gone and not worry about him all the time? I am fine with an empty nest. He will be back.

Nolan left for Valparaiso University and he never finished the semester. One month later he was gone.

He never came back.

I try to not have my mind go there but I can’t help it.

It is in a mother’s nature to worry. College should be a time of independence. Meeting new people. Exploring the campus and for Sam, the city. The will be so different for him.

But then again – he never experienced what college should be like.

Nolan should be here but he is not.

In my heart I know he will be with Sam, a big brother watching over his little brother.

Will I still worry? Hell yes. But work keeps me occupied. I have my patients to care for and worry about. I guess that is what makes me a good doctor.

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