Last night, Chris and I drove to Chicago to attend my little brother’s senior recital.  JMF goes to a high school dedicated to the arts where he’s been able to explore his passion in guitar – and more specifically jazz guitar.



During his performance, JMF thanked our parents for allowing him to follow his passion.  And, as a big sister who is 9 years older than her little brother, I was so impressed that he had a passion at such a young age.


Did I have a passion at 18?  Oh hell no.  But, I did have goals.


I had a goal of getting to college with the least amount of cost to my newly unemployed dad.  


I had a goal of being the first person in my immediate family to obtain a bachelor’s degree.



My parents found a way for me to attend one of the most prestigious schools in the Chicago-land area.  They wouldn’t let me transfer as a freshman because they knew I wasn’t going to be challenged academically.  They encouraged (and helped pay for) a trip to the East Coast to tour highly selective universities.  They drove to Marquette 5+ times so I could tour the cadaver lab and the College of Health Sciences.


Today, 10 years after the fact, I realized that they helped me reach my goals.  They helped me find a way to pay for Marquette’s tuition and board.  They were accepting when I transferred from the College of Health Sciences into the College of Arts & Sciences/School of Education.  They were my biggest cheerleaders when I called crying from the dorms. They were my biggest reality checks when I called to complain about college.


So, thank you Mom & Dad.  I was the first-born hell-raiser whom you loved/love even though I continue to make some questionable decisions and have not taken your feelings into account.








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