Mommy’s Piggy Tales: Freshman Year

The summer before my freshman year, we were reeling from Mom’s breast cancer diagnosis. It was 1983, and she was able to spend many days in the hospital recovering from her mastectomy. (Thirteen years later, Mom was furious when I had a “drive-through” mastectomy. My surgery was considered out-patient surgery, and I had to leave the hospital within 23 hours.) Mom’s tumor was encapsulated; a very rare kind of tumor. Her doctor told her no further treatment was necessary.

And so Mom spent the summer recuperating. I mostly remember her being very tired and resting a lot.

I was more nervous about beginning high school than worried about Mom’s cancer. Dad told us to trust God to heal Mom, and everything would be all right. So I did. God gave us twenty-six more years with Mom before He called her home.

Trusting God as I entered a big suburban high school was another story. My high school had 2,000 students enrolled; my class alone had 500 kids. Many of them had gone to the same junior high, so I struggled to make friends, being the “newbie” once again. My eighth grade class from my parochial school had scattered, and my classmates who attended my high school hadn’t been particularly friendly to me. I did make a few new friends that year. I also became involved in our church’s youth group. None of the kids in my eighth grade class attended youth group very often, so I mostly hung out with the older kids.

There was this boy that I knew vaguely in our youth group…that summer, I saw him once or twice, but as I was entering high school, he was entering college. God had a plan, but neither one of us knew it. Nineteen years after I was a freshman in high school, I would marry this boy.

Being in such a big high school had some advantages; I had excellent teachers and great classes. I had a mix of different kids in every class, which was good and bad. It was good, because I met a lot of different people. It was bad because it was hard to form really good friendships. I also was afraid to try-out for things that I loved to do. I never attempted to join the track team, because I thought I wouldn’t be good enough. I didn’t have the courage to try out for the school musical, so I volunteered to be an usher instead. The musical that year was The Music Man, and as my role as an “usherette” I was able to watch it several times. It’s still one of my favorite musicals!

I became much braver when I became a sophomore….


Janna of Mommy’s Piggy Tales began a project to share our youth with our children. Every Thursday, I will tell a story about my childhood as if I were telling it to my children. At the end of this project, I’ll have a collection of stories about my childhood for my children to keep, and hopefully treasure.

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16 Responses to Mommy’s Piggy Tales: Freshman Year

  1. Ahh…being a freshman was so hard wasn't it? I did have kids I knew in my school and still had a hard time making friends and being brave enough to try out for extras.Your Trust in God to heal your Mom and guide you through a new school years is a wonderful thing. You tell stories so well Ginny, thanks for sharing!

  2. I wish I'd paid more attention to my parents when they told me about their childhoods. They still lived in a world where ice and coal were delivered on horse-drawn carts, and only rich white people had electricity. For the last couple of years (well…on days that I've been up to the task) I've been trying to write about my childhood. Our world was a different from our children's and grandchildren's as our parents' and grandparents' was from ours. I think you've done very well here. Thank you.

  3. Isn't it werid how God chooses to protect us? you mom had breast cancer. Your mom had cancer and you were at the age and transition in life that made it more important to figure out school than to worry about your mom! God is so good! I'm glad you were able to just place your mom in his hands and not worry.

  4. It so good to look back and see how God had a plan that in the 9th grade you never would have dreamed of and now 2 beautiful girls are growing up also part of His plan. Praise God for 26 more years with your mom!My highschool class was big at 45! I can't imagine.

  5. Love your story!!!! My first born was born in 1983! Your faith walked your family through so much…and your story with your husband to be is so much like mine. He truly has His hands on us all…doesn't He?Wow….thanks for letting me join you through this mommy piggy tales and seeing God's hand on your life!

  6. I went to a very large school too, but that was always the case for me. Being "forced" to make new friends was a good thing for me… my middle school crowd turned out to be pretty fickle.

  7. I came in about four months after the school year started not knowing a single soul in the whole school. It was really hard to make friends and in the end I only was friendly with a handful. Although (fortunately) I was never teased or bullied.

  8. Wow … what a big school. I guess that can be both a good thing and a bad thing. And I'm glad you got 26 more years with your mom!

  9. Wow, a lot of the things in this story were exactly the same for me. I went to a different high school then everyone at my middle school (with 2000 kids too) and was afraid to try out for track. Hmm, what else. I hung out with an older crowd but didn't marry any of them. πŸ˜‰

  10. Ginny — have you considered signing back up to do Mommy's Piggy Tales and writing about your mother's youth? I think I am going to do it the next go-round, even though I probably don't have enough material for every week. I still thought it would be precious to capture those memories forever this way. I left you a comment on your "all her days" link, in case you don't go back and read your old posts comments. πŸ™‚

  11. There are definitely draw backs to larger schools. It's been hard figuring out what will be best for my children as they grow older, though I guess a lot of it will depend on where we're living at the time. Can't wait to see where bravery led you in Sophomore year!Thanks for stopping by my blog πŸ™‚

  12. That has to be tough moving from parochial to public knowing that the majority of students are familiar with each other. It really bugs me to hear about kids being unfriendly to other kids and I hate the social hierarchy that goes on during those formative years! I'm hoping sophomore year will be better….

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