By George Shroeder | Broadcast Reporter
Almost every time it rains, my dad sings the same, made up song. “It’s a rainy day… in the month of May” became a very recognizable tune in my house. Of course, it doesn’t rain exclusively in May, so the tune would become, “It’s a rainy day… in the month of May… but it’s not May, it’s February,” or whatever month we happened to be living in at the time. Only my family knows the tune, but all you need to know is that those were the lyrics, and my dad hasn’t won any awards for his musical ability or song writing yet.
Like anyone who lived with their parents in high school, I had my ups and downs with them. When you’re an arrogant, naive high schooler, it seems like the only thing parents are good at is getting on your nerves (because obviously high schoolers know everything). I would fight with them, disrespect them and unjustifiably be annoyed by them. But through it all, they found it in themselves to love me unconditionally.
As a teenager, my relationship with my dad was constantly in need of improvement. We are very different people and we both failed along the way, but again, we still love each other very much. Needless to say, when dad came into a room singing about rain in the month of May, you could find me rolling my eyes. I considered many of my parents interactions with me irritating. I knew it when it was raining, and I knew whether it was or wasn’t May, I didn’t need a song to remind me. Little did I know that I would soon be the one singing that song.
I didn’t realize how hard the transition to college would be. I found myself dwelling in a sense of longing and loneliness when I wasn’t keeping myself busy. I didn’t know exactly where this emotion was coming from. I assumed it was just a cumulation of different stresses and social anxieties that would quickly pass. It didn’t. Whatever it was, it only grew worse. Even as I started to make friends, settle into a routine, and buy way too much apparel from the Baylor Bookstore and Barefoot Campus Outfitter, I would still slip into a sad, lonely mindset.
Finally, I discovered what it was. It was drizzling one day while I was alone, walking back from class. “It’s a rainy day… in the month of May… but it’s not May, it’s September,” I quietly began to sing to myself as I walked. That’s when it hit. I missed Dad. I missed Mom. In that moment, there was very little I wouldn’t have given up for them to be just around the corner. Broken, I just kept singing dad’s “annoying” song.
I wanted my parents. I wanted to be with my family, or I wanted them to be with me. I came to Baylor leaving my entire life in Norman, Okla., and now, my parents live in Nashville, Tenn. I just wanted a hug. When you don’t yet know anyone on a familial level, a simple thing like a hug feels unattainable, and it hurts.
Not being able to express my emotions and thoughts, intimately, with someone who cares about me and someone I know on a personal level only makes the problem worse. Of course I call and FaceTime my parents almost daily, but that will never be comparable to being with them in person.
Since my parents have left me at college, I have missed them desperately. I have realized what they meant to me, and what they actually did for me on a regular basis. I have realized how wrong I was to treat them certain ways. I realized how petty I have been towards them.
Please don’t misunderstand — my parents and I have too many good memories to count. But now, my days being with them constantly are over, and I realize how much I loved what I no longer have. I realize how good they were to me, and I regret how often I was not good to them in return. I love my new freedoms, but I believe a huge part of me will always secretly want those simple days back.
Once I find my place here at Baylor, and I know I will, things will be better. I need community. I want a solid foundation, a place I can fall back on and be vulnerable. Until I find that, I know I will continue to struggle sometimes. Although recently, it has been becoming easier — especially since my mom and little brother are coming down for the Houston game. I can’t wait to see them.
I am settling into my new life, and I have begun to lean on God to lead me through it. Though I can’t be with them, I will continue to take little pieces of my family with me wherever I go. Every time I look out and see the rain, I’ll hum that familiar tune and be reminded of my Dad and family. Little moments like that bring comfort. Until I can be with them again, that can be enough.
I love and miss you Dad, Mom, Elizabeth and Christopher. I can’t wait to see you again!