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Chicago Bound

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Our youngest daughter, Martha, will graduate from college in May with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  This year has been all about selecting a graduate school.  Her goal is to get a Masters in Social Work.  She researched and found that Chicago has the top program.  So she applied.  When she was filling out the application in December, I never imagined that she would get in, and we would have the difficult job of telling her she couldn’t go.

So, you guessed it, she got in.  And she was given a scholarship; however, the scholarship would only cover close to one third of the total cost.  Our answer was no.  Too much money for a degree in a field that doesn’t make much money.  And loans were out of the question.

Weeks went by as Martha waited to hear from other schools.  She received an acceptance from University of Texas and was turned down by University of Washington.  We were rooting for the UT option.  After all, my husband is a former Longhorn.  But Martha had other plans, or rather, other dreams.

Chicago came through with a work-study program that made a small difference in the cost.  She talked to her father.  She is the baby of the family, after all.  That was not the only thing going for her.  She knows what she wants and why she wants it.   We decided to meet the amount Chicago was offering and allow her to borrow the rest.

Now I have to get used to it.  Not an easy task.  It’s really not about the money.  My paycheck has been paying tuition for a long time.  What’s two more years?  So why am I having so much trouble with the idea?  Do I think she’s not old enough to go to a big city like Chicago?  Is it the harsh winter weather that scares me?

I think part of me is just plain jealous.  She is getting to live her dream.  I never would have had the opportunity, nor did I even think about it.  I’ve never dreamed that big.  I both envy and admire her for being so strong-willed to think Chicago was a possibility and to make it all happen.   I am proud of her beyond belief.  And to be completely honest, I’ll miss her terribly.  To quote God’s message to me when I was sending my first off to the big city of New Orleans, “She is not leaving you.”

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