Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School

I started my first teaching job at Walters State Community College the same week I found out I was pregnant with Tillery. For 2 semesters, Tillery attended every class I taught right along with me. At the end of the year, my students left for fun filled summer adventures and I went home and put my feet up and await the arrival of our sweet Tillery.

This week I'm going back to teaching, but this time it will just be me. After having Tillery with me for every class I've ever taught and then spending the last 23 months dedicated to taking care of her, I'm going out on my own.

For these past few years, I've often thought of what it would be like to go back to working. On some days, I've longed for this day while other days I've feared it. While going back to work gives me some independence and also means that Tillery is doing really well medically, there is still fear. The biggest fear is an emergency arising and me not being able to get to her. It's been so amazing to be able to always be with her and I thank so many faithful supporters who have financially contributed to our family over the past few years so that I could always be with her.

But it's time to step out of the fear. She's been really healthy for about 10 months, she's been eating by mouth for about 8 months, and she's been walking for almost 5 months. She's no longer the sick little girl that kept us on pins and needles. She's now a sassy little chatterbox who is super independent.

As I go back to the classroom tomorrow, I do so as a very different person than I was 4 years ago. I believe my time with Tillery has made me a better person in many aspects of my life as she has made me much more empathetic. I'm excited to begin down this road again and see how our story continues to unfold.

On a related note, I've often spoken about my Ronald McDonald House friends. We lived under the same roof while we were all experiencing some of the hardest days of our lives. We were each other's support and family so that we never went through any of it alone. I want to give a shout out to my old housemates who are also out in the working world again, doing an amazing job of keeping on in this world, even after hardship.

So way to go Leslie, Mary Ann, Sandy, Cassie, and Julia! And an extra high five to RMH dad, Brandon, who left the RMH and went back to school to become a nurse! I thought we'd never see the "real world" again!

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