Friday, January 13, 2006

Like Sand In The Hourglass

Ever since I got home yesterday morning, it's become supremely clear that Mom has attached a new price to time. Everything seems to have become more urgent without her long run. This cancer has become almost energizing. I pray chemo doesn't disarm this passion.

There's not a moment that passes between us without her dropping some maternal wisdom, friendly nagging, or heartfelt question. She'll smile and apologize that she "has to get it in."

The two of us had lunch today following a session of retail therapy at JCrew. It was then that she spoke of this new awakening in her own words. In a display of mindboggling optimism, she actually called this a blessing. "How many people," she said, "get the opportunity to share love, friendship, and goodbyes before they pass?"


It was at that moment that the thought of taking time off from Stanford or finishing law school back East first streamed in. If things progress as her doctors suggest they will, I already know that I would feel guilty and regret not being closer by during this highly poetic, emotional, and ultimate stage in Mom's life.

I love Stanford. I love the people that I have met there even more. I've thought to myself dozens of times over the last semester that I can't imagine having a better law school experience. But, family is family. I would give that up in a heartbeat to make my Mom's remaining time more special. After being home for two days, this already seems rational.

When she didn't immediately crush that suggestion - which I mentioned to her in the very abstract - I realized that this was something that she would warmly welcome. But, I'm so confused. What do you think?


At 5:23 PM, Blogger LawMom said...

I feel a little strange giving advice to someone I don't know, who doesn't know me, but you asked for opinions, so here goes: As a 40 year old law student who waited a long time to do this and who also just happens to be the mother of three, I'd say you absolutely must take time off to be with your mom. Your posts about her are heartbreaking. As I read through your most recent one, all I could think about was how imperative it is that you spend this time with her. Law school will wait for as long as you need it to wait. Your mom might not be able to. You can never get back any time you don't spend with her now. You can always get back the time you don't spend at law school right now. Stanford isn't going anywhere.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger CM said...

Since you asked... if this is something that both you and your mom want, why not? Stanford will be there waiting for you. Do they have any sort of program where you could do a year at a New York school and then go back?

At 5:36 PM, Blogger CM said...

or, what lawmom said. I waited a while before pressing publish.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous AK said...

Also, because you asked. One of the most important lessons you can learn in law school (and one of the hardest ones to learn) is that law school is not the most important thing in the world. Professors always caution students not to let their relationships with loved ones fall by the wayside in favor of personal jurisdiction and respondeat superior. You seem to have already learned this lesson and whatever decision you ultimately make will I'm sure be the right one for you.
On another note, as you already know law school requires your undivided attention if you really want to do well and during this time in your family's life your attention is with your mom. You may be doing both her and yourself a favor to give all your attention to her now because the semester will only be that much more difficult and unfulfilling if your heart and your mind are elsewhere. Lawmom is right, law school will be here when you get back.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger SLS2L(@YLS) said...

Thanks guys for chiming in. I really appreciate it. I'm not going to rush this decision, but it does feel like I need to do something.

Mom would like to see me graduate law school, though. I'm approaching this head on and trying to do what feels right.

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other thing is that it's a cruel, cruel world out there when you start looking for jobs.

However you can be sure that even the most anal hiring attorney will understand that you either took time off or your GPA plummeted or you went from a top 10 school to a top 50 (or whatever--obviously not applicable if you transfer to Yale, Columbia or NYU) if you tell them the reason.


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