Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Mourning -- OBU or Heaven ... Hmmmmm

Ahhhh ... Good old OBU, my alma mater.  How I love that place!  I entered the hallowed halls of OBU as a shy, nerdy freshman in the fall of 1984, and left as a confident, married woman in the spring of 1988 with a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology.  There are so many good memories wrapped up in those four years ... I would probably have to start another blog to record them all!

When my oldest daughter, Hannah, was but a preschooler, she decided she wanted to follow in her parents' footsteps and go to Ouachita.  She proudly wore her "Future Tiger" t-shirt and proclaimed to anyone who cared that she was going to go to Ouachita when she grew up.  As she got older, she never wavered in her decision, even making plans to room with her good friend, Brittany.  Brad and I excitedly looked forward to going to visit her in the dorm (especially since it's only a 40 minute drive down the interstate) and to attending all of her OBU events as proud alumni parents.  When Hannah died of cancer in the spring of her junior year of high school, all that changed.

We do go to Ouachita's campus twice a year, but it's not to visit our daughter in the dorm or to cheer her on at Tiger Tunes.  After her death, we established the Hannah Joy Scholarship in her memory.  It's not a large amount of money by any means ... just enough to help a student out with books and a few expenses ... but because of that, we get invited to a banquet in the spring and again around Christmas time.  In the spring, we have the opportunity to meet the scholarship recipient (who is chosen by an OBU scholarship committee), and the Christmas banquet is just a "Thank you for your donation" type thing.

So, on Saturday evening we went to the annual "thank you" banquet.  The dinner was nice ... the food is always amazing ... and afterward, Brad and I spent some time walking around the campus.  The weather was unseasonably warm, and I've always loved Ouachita's campus at night.  Many things have changed since we were students there years ago, but a lot of things have remained the same, and I'm glad about that.

But, as we walked, I couldn't help but be sad about why we were there at all.  This was not the way it was supposed to be.  I should be like all my Facebook friends ... going to visit my daughter at college for a special occasion, excitedly anticipating her coming home for the holidays, mailing her homemade treats to help her get through finals week.  How did my life turn out like this ... where instead of receiving hugs from my now 21-year-old daughter, I was receiving honors for giving a scholarship that I would much rather not have a reason to give at all?

It's at times like this that I have to remind myself that Hannah is not missing a thing by not being a student at OBU.  As nice as their new dorms seem to be, they sure can't compare with a mansion in Heaven!  I'm the one who feels robbed and cheated by missing out on these times with her, and I have to remember that in the eternal scheme of things, I'm really not missing anything either.  What's a 3-week visit home for the holidays compared to an eternity together in Heaven?  Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

And that's what I'm thinking about on this cloudy, gray Monday "mourning" before I head off to work.

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