Thursday, March 27, 2014

Busy Busy Squirrls

When I was a kid we had a house in Spirit Lake Idaho It was a great house.  We had a big lot with three giant trees on the other side of the street with big maples on our side.  We also had a sour cherry tree on the side of the house but mom sort of hacked it to death so she could see the lake while having coffee in the morning. 

One day we happened upon a large bag of nuts and Mom dumped them at the base of a tree.  We left to do some errands or go swimming or go visit Grandma and Grandpa on the other side of town.  When we came home there was still mass activity.  It went on for hours.  The squirrels did not quit until each and every nut was gone. 

Mom felt awful.  She was sure they were exhausted.  She never ever provided an unending supply of nuts to them again. 

Mary-Elizabeth is very Squirrel like.  She starts a project and will not rest until it is done.  She does her homework ahead of time.  She spends hours and hours on something until she really really understands it.  The hours she has worked on her homework and her test prep is amazing. 

I remember how things went when she started 8th grade, still in treatment, still suffering from nasty chemo brain and the radiation was still reducing the brain cells.  She would come home from school and start studying and did so until she went to bed exhausted.  Every day, every week-end every break.  She was like the squirrels.   Despite everything she graduated with Honors from Holy Name Academy, was accepted into 9 of the 11 schools she had applied. 

She struggled as every freshman struggles but finally was able to be a successful Gonzaga Student.  Many more hours, lots of study groups, tutors... what ever it took.  Then.... September 28, 2010 the leukemia returned with a vengeance.  Now remember she did go take her tests before her school ending blood draw.

One Relapse, One Double Cord Blood Transplant, Two years of struggle and pain and misery and back to Gonzaga.  Hours and weeks of study and more tutors and time with professors and lots of other helpful people and ME was finally given proof hard hard work pays off.  Yesterday she received a letter from the Math Department letting her know she was one of 50 out of over 1000 nominated for the math prize. 

The squirrels had their dens filled and ME has filled her brain one hard problem at a time.  Go MEB!!!!!

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