I’m 23 and I Still Want My Mom

by Crystal Porter, RMHC Intern

Before the age of 23 I was fairly healthy, with the usual minor ailments like childhood illnesses, infections, sprains and pesky seasonal allergies. The only surgery I’d ever had was when I had my wisdom teeth removed at age 14. When I found out last year that I needed my gallbladder removed, I was nervous and scared. While my surgery is considered common and minor, to me it was one of the scariest experiences in my life.

My mom and me on Mother's Day May 2010, two days before my surgery.

Despite my age, I immediately wanted my parents. This posed a problem since they live 1,800 miles away. Luckily, my mom already had plans to fly down for my youngest sister’s high school graduation at the end of May. Her boss approved her request to work remotely so that she could be in Austin at the beginning of May in time for my surgery. She stayed for my 3 week recovery and my sister’s graduation.

I am thankful her boss was understanding because the first thing I wanted when I woke up from surgery was my mom. I was confused, scared, nauseated and in pain. I asked for her until I was stable enough for her to come back to recovery. Even though I knew she couldn’t heal the pain or nausea, all I wanted was to have my mom there with me. She, along with my sisters, made all the difference.

Often the simple act of being there is overlooked or undervalued, but I believe it is one of the greatest human actions. Knowing how much I wanted my mom, I can only imagine how a critically ill child feels. I have felt the relief of knowing my family is close by, well-rested, and available at a moment’s notice. I love that RMHC Austin’s Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms make being there possible.

Look how close Dell Children's Medical Center is! You can see it from our House.

Crystal

P.S. Being there means more than you can imagine. Check out Ann’s blog post to see another side of being there.

Crystal is a senior in the St. Edward’s MBA in Digital Media Management program. Her interest in nonprofits led her to a summer internship at RMHC Austin. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to join the collaborative efforts of the RMHC Austin staff to make a difference for families of critically ill children. Crystal plans to continue working with RMHC Austin in the fall.

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8 Responses to I’m 23 and I Still Want My Mom

  1. Judie P. says:

    Crystal, What a great post. “Just being there” for someone that is ill and scared is a precious gift. Glad you had an opportunity to work with the RMHC in Austin this summer. I hope the experience helps to guide your future!

  2. Jan Gunter says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Crystal! You had me at “I still want my mom”. We’re going to miss your daily presence at the House, but we’re happy to know you’ll be coming back to volunteer once school starts again.
    Jan

  3. Mansee Muzumdar says:

    Great post! I was so glad to be in Austin when I had my surgery a few summers ago – seeing my mom right when I woke up was the biggest relief. I can’t imagine going through anything hospital-related without my parents nearby!

  4. ann jerome says:

    Great job Crystal! See…I didn’t even know about your surgery happening in the past year – you are an amazing young woman who has juggled and balanced a lot of responsibilities very gracefully. We love working with you here at the House and will miss your daily presence when you are back plugging away at school. Thanks for sharing your perspective –

  5. Jane Rose says:

    What a TERRIFIC post! We’ll have to trade gallbladder surgery stories later, but thanks so much for sharing your story. Having family “there” to help get us through whatever challenge we’re facing means so much, and you put it so very well. And we’re very grateful to have you helping us out at the RMH and I look forward to your staying involved as much as you hope to! Thanks for all you’ve done to help us out!

    • Thanks Jane, I’ve really enjoyed my internship this summer. I love seeing the network of people that are involved with RMHC Austin, whether they are families staying at the House, volunteers, or even donors who come in and share their Ronald McDonald House Charities experience. They all embody different ways and motivations for ‘being there’ in such a commendable way.

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