Unforgettable Moment #1- Through The Eyes of My Mom…

This is how my mom remembers the day I fell apart. To understand this post you must read my previous post.

Colleen Zeller writes:

If I heard ” I am not staying here” one more time I knew I was going to snap! And snap I did…. on the public sidewalk – outside Rundle Hall – University of Calgary – late July 1990!

I had resigned myself to, yes indeed, my daughter would be moving away to University at the end of August.

We had lots to do to get ready. I was grateful that we had the previous months to prepare. Once the research was done, acceptance offers came in, and the selection made; we focused on graduation and the completion of the high school pre-requisites.

I knew our trip to Calgary to tour Rundle Hall would be a challenge because I had already made up my mind she was going there and she had made up her mind she was not!

Nicki is fearless. I am not. Nicki was touring Rundle Hall as a potential housing option. I was not. The dorm room was small and as I imagined moving her into the room 5 weeks from then, I knew it would take some creativity to make it her own space.

IT was doable and not negotiable .

As we left the building, she was crying and relentless in her demand that we find something else. I stopped walking and talked to her like she was 2 years old. “If you plan to start University here in Calgary next month – this is where you will be living! IT is not negotiable!” It must of been how I said it – maybe I used the ‘F’ word? – but when I snapped – Nicki was helped to understand that as much as she wanted to go on about it – she would not be getting her way on this one. Note: When I had to resort to swearing both of my children knew I meant business and I could always see the colour in their faces drain away!

I believed that having to navigate the halls and tunnels of first year at U of C would be challenge enough. We did not have to add in the mix of learning to navigate the City of Calgary as well as transfer to the Adult CF clinic.

Nik hasn’t much liked ultimatums but in this case it worked wonderfully. The rest of the day went great as we figured out the meal card system and checked out the bookstore and created the ‘Moving to Rundle Hall’ needs and to do list. Nicki loves lists.

Fast forward 5 weeks to moving day. We had lingered as long as we could and Nicki was anxious for us to leave so she could check things out, meet her dorm mates and get settled.

I was inconsolable at leaving my daughter alone at Rundle Hall, even though we would be seeing her in 6 weeks when she came home for Thanksgiving. I was sobbing and my heart was breaking. I had given myself a massive headache and I couldn’t get it together. I was worried about her first night, her safety, her CF and wanted desperately to go back and just stay outside the residence in case she needed us. Poor Dave. He didn’t know how to get me calmed down and finally suggested we get a hotel on the north end of the city – just in case we were needed. We drove the seven hours home the next morning.

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