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Seven years ago we took our youngest daughter to college about three hours away. Our other two daughters had stayed in town for college. We helped Katie unload her things into her dorm room. We hung around until we knew it was time to let go. We had promised her that we wouldn’t cry, so we gave her silent hugs.

Katie has the most beautiful green eyes. When she was a child, I would see tears pool around the bottom of her eyes before she would cry. After our hugs, she took my face in her hands and said, “Mom, this is the hardest thing I have ever done.” Those green eyes were pooling with tears. I hugged her again, and left the room. I did not cry until I was in the stairwell.

We adjusted to the new situation. Katie was hired at at a hospital in Indianapolis, and she has lived there since.

Katie likes a challenge. She took work right away in the ICU doing a night shift. It has been pretty easy for us to connect with each other, as she has lived only two hours away. Katie loves my big, crazy family, and she would drive down for almost any family gathering.

Katie called me a few weeks ago and told me that she had been offered a job in Denver, Colorado with Donor Alliance in organ procurement. I was listening to the job description, that they would pay Katie to fly out for the the interview, and that they would pay moving expenses if she accepted the position. Katie has wanted to do this for a long time.

Things moved quickly. Katie and I flew out for two apartment hunting days. I was honored that she chose me to come out. Real estate is expensive and there are not many apartments to choose from. Katie found a cute apartment in an old building close to her work. She loves urban living.

It became a whirlwind. Katie packed and had her things sent ahead. She loaded her SUV with everything else, including Molly (Molly and the Dog Bakery) and a friend who wanted to go to Denver. She drove over 1,000 miles in two days. She texted us when she had safely arrived.

Today she texted that there is an IKEA only twenty minutes from her house! She was headed out to find some furniture. She will start work this coming week.

Katie will have a wonderful experience in this job. She will watch the computer for donor matches. When there is a donor from Colorado or part of Wyoming, she will go in an ambulance and bring the donor’s body back to their center, where the transplants take place. If the donor is too far away, the recipient has to be flown to the donor site. She is responsible for biopsying the organs to check for any cancer or defect that would make the organ a bad choice for a transplant.

This is such a great opportunity for Katie. She has managed this long-distance move on her own.  Katie loves adventure, and she will be able to kayak, hike, snow ski, with many other exciting things to do.

I am so proud of Katie, and amazed at how she can make difficult situations look almost easy.

But within the heart of this mother I am saying, “This is one of the hardest things I have ever done.”