Gemma is thumbing through her college and university applications. She is a surprise, that one. The youngest among my kids, and she is the only one who is into sports, like extreme sports. And she makes the grades, like graduating at the top of her class. Her older siblings did very well in school, but they were more the introvert type of student, and shunned almost anything that required physical exertion.
Well not my Gem-gem. And now, she is looking at a possible career in medicine. She got inspired about it when we visited Mrs. Higgins, our next door neighbour, while she was undergoing neurological therapy at the Colorado Neurological Institute. The elderly lady has been like a grandmother to my children, always friendly and full of life. She taught my older kids how to swim, and she sometimes babysat them when they were little.
She was once a school teacher and when she retired, she devoted her time to the kids in the neighbourhood. Some of us were once her students, so we knew her. It’s an old part of town, which seemed unaffected by the passing of time and for us who stayed on in our parents’ homes, the community became some sort of large family. Why we still invite each other over on birthdays, baby showers, and lately weddings – of some of the children.
So when Mrs. Higgins needed neurotherapy, we all took turns in spending time with her at the CNI, until her daughters arrived to be with her while she goes through the rehabilitation process. I heard that as soon as she is well enough, she will be moving in with Lea, her older daughter who lives in the next town.
We will miss her as she has been a really valuable member of this community. And, we in turn, have started to treat her like our own parent. If one of us mothers were sick, you can expect her knocking at your door with a bowl of chicken soup. Her signature cure-all comfort food. And when one of us got a promotion, she is always the proudest among neighbours. I do hope her neurotherapy will make her mobile enough to visit us from time to time.
I am glad that Gemma is taking up medicine, but I am also thinking how much it would cost us if she pursues a career in neurosurgery. We are an average income family, and maybe we can pull it off if she gets a scholarship. She is confident that she will get into the university of her choice, and I have no doubt that she will. But I don’t want her to go out of university burdened with student loans. I have seen colleagues in their late 30s still paying off their student loans. It just didn’t seem right. At that age, they should be providing for the education of their own children instead of having the additional strain of paying off for their own.
Oh well, sometimes miracles happen. Who knows I might win the lottery. To which my husband always has a rejoinder, ‘you never know honey, well unless you buy a lottery ticket!’. I better get one today. God knows I need more than luck for it.