88: Don’t Forget

88: Don’t Forget

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles

Don’t Forget

My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.

~Graycie Harmon

As I stare through the window into complete darkness, I wrap a blanket around my shoulders for warmth. It’s my first night in my dorm room and everything gives me chills — the unusual creaks, the frightening shadows, and the new voices in the wind. I know this is the time to get educated and serious about the future that is within arm’s reach. But do I want to grasp it? Do I want to leave the world I know behind for another that is completely foreign? I haven’t had a sense of insecurity until now.

A couple of months ago, I was prepared for finals, graduation, and the day I would keep my promise — move out as soon as I had the chance. Of course, I used that threat when I was angry or couldn’t get my way. Expecting to see horrified faces after the announcement, my parents had grinned instead. Now that I’m here, I know why. This is something I was not prepared for and they knew it. Well, it’s too late now. Prepared or not, I’m here.

I miss watching Happy Days with my dad on Saturday mornings and Get Smart with my mom on Thursday nights. I miss the times my dad took me fishing and my mom took me shopping. I miss the cheesy home videos I produced with my siblings and the sneaky missions that always failed because Mom and Dad knew everything. Now, all those moments are only memories.

I need to let my parents know that I was wrong. Sitting at my desk with my laptop open, I address an e-mail to a radio station my mom listens to every morning before work. I request a special song Carrie Underwood wrote that I can relate to, called “Don’t Forget To Remember Me.” It’s my way of telling my parents that I, too, do not want to be forgotten.

• • •

The next morning, my mom got ready for work as usual. She stumbled out of bed and turned on the radio. She was alerted by the speakers’ conversation. “You know how I was upset a couple weeks ago because I sent my little girl to school for the first time? A college student e-mailed us and said that she misses her parents and everything they have done for her. She also requested a special song in honor of them. So we want to thank Candace for that e-mail, because it really eased my worries about my little girl growing up and forgetting about the things us parents do for them.”

The song began to play while my mom frantically ran over to my dad and woke him up. “Honey! Honey! Did you hear that? Was that our Candace? Our daughter who couldn’t wait to leave home?” My dad, just barely opening his eyes, replied with, “If it is, that was very sweet of her.” My mom saw her phone had a text message on it from me saying, “I miss you Mom!” My mother smiled and knew that the radio announcers were talking about me.

I got a call from my mom that night. I was so excited to tell her that I survived my first day of college, and we talked for about an hour. Just when we were about to say our goodbyes, I added one last plea: “Mom, don’t forget to remember me.”

~Candace Jewell

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