Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I can't be late because I had to chase a chinchilla

This morning I had to be in Akron at 8:30 am to test out of my final credit hours.

7 am is really early to wake up kiddos on their first week of summer vacation.

I was trying to wake up Reagan who was adamant about not getting up.

To help things out Riley brought in Chinchie the chinchilla (more on him later:) to snuggle up to Reagan's cheek to wake him up. 

Usually that's a great idea.

But chinchilla's are frisky little critters and can sometimes get away.

I was on edge about taking these tests anyhow and did not feel like chasing a chinchilla.

"Riley, put Chinchie away.  I can't be late because I had to chase a chinchilla."

Chalk that up as one more sentence I never thought I would say but did.


I've known for quite some time that I had to take these tests.  But between me, you, and the fencepost I was terrified to take them. 

After all, you can't fail something you never attempt.  Right?

I have been handing out excuses why I wasn't taking them.

Some really good ones too.

But the truth is, fear is what kept me from going for it. 

Then with the upcoming interview I thought I should get these tests done.

Only I would take two tests two days before an interview.

Nothing like pressure, right?

Then again, pressure has been the theme of my entire college career...why change that now?


The first test went great.  Or at least it felt great. 

Until I saw the score.


I was absolutely terrified that meant percent.

I somehow walked out to the desk, knees knocking, to tell her I was done.

She asked how I did. 

I was honest and said it felt easy, but I guess I bombed it because it said 60.

She laughed and said "It doesn't mean 60%.  I'm not sure how they score it, but 60 is really good."

Words cannot describe the relief and thankfulness.

I sighed.  Then giggled.  Then floated to cloud 9. 

But only for a moment because I had to move on to test # 2.

While I was waiting for her to get the testing code, I noticed the screen saver on the other computer had a picture of a stunning full moon. 

Nothing calms me down like a picturesque moon.

I smiled.

God is everywhere and in every thing. 

Even on computer screens in the white walled rooms of testing centers.

Half hour later I passed the second test.

I wasn't sure how I would feel.  If I would just walk out feeling normal or excited or relieved or what.

I gathered my things and quick texted my mom who was waiting anxiously at home.

My next move startled me.

I went to text my dad.

I flipped open my phone to begin the text and the realization smacked me in the face. 

He's not there to tell.

I was not expecting that.  I've never texted my dad before...he has been gone 12 years.  There wasn't texting then. 

When the absurdity of my thoughts hit me again I cried harder.

Tears began to stream down my face uncontrollably.

I was not expecting these emotions.

Sadness was the last thing I expected to feel.  I had expected elation.

I stumbled down two flights of stairs and made it outside to text the person  who is closest to a father figure to me. 

It helped.  Sorta. 

When I told mom that I was crying she suggested I stop at the cemetery.

I was not expecting these emotions.

I was planning on excitement and relief. 

Not this. Not body wracking sobs.

I drove to the cemetery and lay in front of his stone mentally shot. 

It felt good.

The sun warmed my cheeks and I peered out at the words "Our Loving Father".

I had to think back to that last note he left.

The one where he told me to straighten out.

I think I have. 

And it felt good to tell him.
By the way, thanks for attending my ceremony.I decided not to go to the UOP ceremony because all my courses were online and I won't know anyone at the Cleveland campus. This post just became my commencement ceremony. 

Thanks so much for showing up and whistling when they called my name ~ I pretended to be embarrassed, but it was fun of you to do that.   By the way, you look great!

On to get that job.


  1. Great news, Julie. I have enjoyed reading of your college journey!! Best wishes this weekend in Connecticut. ~ Diane Lanz

    1. Thank you Diane! I'll look for you while we are both here!