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Alumni Posts


by Alumni Posts on October 3, 2012

in Academics,Career Paths

Many times in life don’t you get that feeling of deja vu or that you are literally living, Ground Hogs Day, the movie over again but in your own life? I know from working with students in classes that many times they repeat behaviors or do assignments not to their capabilities for days on end. I talk with them and say that I don’t want to repeat Ground Hogs day tomorrow. I then go on to tell them about the old movie (did I just say that because I remember it being in a theater) starring Bill Murray as a weatherman that is repeating Ground Hogs Day daily in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania waiting for Phil to show his shadow or not. In the movie, Bill Murray’s character learns to be a more patient, kind, and caring person daily. So, I tell my students that tomorrow is a do over and we talk about what they can do to change their behaviors and work ethic. They are also able to tell me openly if something is bothering them or if they don’t understand what is being taught.

I also have been known to yell, “Ground Hogs Day” at my children when they leave their dirty clothes on the floor for a couple of days, or don’t do something to help around the house and it has taken me a day to realize that it wasn’t done. They know when I say this that they need to take care of something that should have been done earlier. I also say “Ground Hogs Day” when dealing with situations that reoccur in my life and no matter what I’ve tried in the past they keep coming.

I am dealing right now with a “Ground Hogs Day!” moment. The first time I went to college my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer my junior year. She told me that she couldn’t pay for my college anymore and that I would have to find a job and go to school. This is when I dropped out of school, tried to care for her, work full time, and go to community college (you see I had not done my math and science requirements for my degree). I couldn’t keep up with the pace of it all and the stress of it. So, even though my mom recovered from the cancer I didn’t go back to school because it was too hard to try to do it all.

Now, leapfrog, through time 20 some years later and I’m back in school through the blessing of the Pathways program at Fontbonne .The Pathways program has given me the ability to work and go back to school to finish my degree. It has been a sweet blessing to me and to my children. Last year, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent surgery to remove the parts of the cancer that they could. Other parts of her brain they couldn’t treat or remove because it would literally kill her. My mom’s pastor called me last Thursday and told me she was in the hospital and not doing well. My brother had moved to California about a month ago and so my mom has had no one to take her to her doctor’s appointments and so she hasn’t been going. She shared with me over the weekend that she is thankful that she had both my brother and I. But she wants us to go and live our own lives now and not to worry about her. Since there really aren’t a lot of treatment options for her and she is getting weaker she had decided that she doesn’t want to go to the oncologist weekly or the other doctors that she sees. She simply wants to live what is left of her life and is ready to pass on. I literally called out to God last Thursday, “Ground Hogs Day!”. How could God have taken me so far in college and life and now thrown a Ground Hogs Day moment at me. I am ridden with guilt for not living closer to my mom, not having enough money to drive back and forth to Des Moines to make sure she is going to the doctor and her spirits are up. I can say this morning that I have the same despair and hopeless feeling that I had some 20 years ago in college.

This has me thinking this morning about all the times we all have a Ground Hogs Day moments and what are we to do? I think that we are to thank and praise God first and foremost for getting us through them the first time around and have faith that He will do it again. Although, the second time around or so the results may be different we have to realize that our God is not different. He is the same steadfast, loving, and resourceful God that He was the first time around. For this we are all blessed today.

I leave you this week with a renewed spirit that God will get me through this Ground Hogs Day and the next one too. I pray for each of you to know that God will do the same for you.

Peace Be With You- Sherry

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.