Sometimes making a decision gets compounded by multiple factors. This happened to us in the days leading to past weekend and fortunately everything ended up very well.
Last year, Scott and I attended our first Parents Weekend at Washington University—we got to visit Zakary while learning more about his campus, meeting his friends and taking him out to wonderful eateries around the city. After that successful weekend, we set our sights to Parents Weekend 2016 and started to hatch a plan. My father, Bill, a graduate of Washington University (Chemistry 1956), had never returned to St. Louis nor the university after graduation. Scott and I thought it would be incredible to have dad and his wife, Barbara, meet us in St. Louis and attend Parents Weekend 2016 together. They were fully onboard and made airplane reservations, and we all looked forward to the weekend with anticipation. What we couldn’t plan on was another admission for Ethan to CCHMC. Ethan was admitted on October 15, less than two weeks before we were to leave for St. Louis. While this provided some stress, we kept optimistic that he would be discharged well before we were scheduled to leave. The first week quickly turned into the second, and as our departure date rapidly approached we had to reassess. We formulated several scenarios, including whether or not I should head out by myself. Not what we had envisioned. With the encouragement of the doctors and nurses, as well as the tireless efforts of great friends who coordinated hospital shifts so Ethan was never alone, Scott and I both made the trip to St. Louis.
In addition to the numerous friends signed on to be with Ethan, the timing was such that my mom was also in Cincinnati, and she played a great role in providing company for Ethan, before, during and after our trip to St. Louis. We coordinated with the medical team to have a daily update and that we could always be reached by phone, day or night.
While in St. Louis, we were able to explore the campus, all while reliving through my dad’s footsteps his years spent on campus. We learned about his dorm and work experiences, as well as the incredible professors who helped shape his future. And so much more—it felt like the halls echoed his stories. One of the highlights of the weekend was attending a presentation by the chancellor of Washington University, Mark Wrighton, someone whom my dad admires very much. We even took a side trip downtown for a viewing of the St. Louis Arch, something dad had never seen as it wasn’t constructed until 1965. A wonderful weekend was had by all and as promised, we were kept abreast of Ethan’s situation at CCHMC. This was a memorable experience and our hearts are grateful to so many who made it possible.
Alexia and Scott