Feelings surrounding my Notre Dame Weekend

Feelings are part of our senses, too, so I’ll try to compress all the emotions that washed over me during this past football weekend at Notre Dame.

  • Awe. Notre Dame, first and foremost, is a Catholic institution of higher learning. While they are immensely proud of that, they do more than just tolerate other faiths — they embrace them. Yes, there are chapels in every dorm; yes, there are crucifixes in classrooms; and yes, there’s a 19-foot tall golden statue of Mary atop the Main Building. But nobody is forced to become Catholic; indeed, there’s a plethora of religious organizations on campus for a wide variety of faiths. That they all co-exist so serenely is inspiring (maybe the entire world should take note!).
  • Peace. Notre Dame’s campus is chock-full of places where one can contemplate. The sheer number of unusual-looking trees overshadowing wooden benches makes for a hallowed feeling. The 14-story Hesburgh Library offers plenty of places to read and stretch one’s mind. And the Grotto with its kneeling rail and vigil candles provides a spot where even the most troubled spirit can find calm.
  • Jealousy. I might sound like an old geezer here, but I’ve got to admit to a teeny bit of jealousy — at these kids’ youth, their brightness, their exuberance, the possibility that some of them will cure diseases or save lives or make the world a better place — and they’ve got time on their hands to do so.
  • Anticipation. You know that heart-racing excitement you get when something wonderful is about to happen, and it can’t happen fast enough for you? That’s it! This was my first time to hear what a 400-plus member Band sounds like, to be part of 81,000 screaming fans packed shoulder to shoulder in an open-air football stadium, to re-visit some of the spots on campus  I’d only glanced at on earlier (and busier!) trips, to see (in person, no TV commercial breaks!) a college football game again.
  • Self-satisfaction. Hey, I faced my fears, stepped out of my comfort zone, whatever you want to call it — and was rewarded with the adventure (and memory) of a lifetime! It doesn’t get much better than that!
  • Pride. Watching My Favorite Domer in his habitat, smiling at the ease with which he greets fellow students, realizing how seriously he takes his obligation of being in the Band and his studies, knowing this great university is the right place for him — well, I can’t help feeling proud. What a difference a few years make — as his mom, I still remember the brave little boy walking into preschool without looking back!

I’ll wrap up my journey down Memory Lane tomorrow — though this won’t be the last of my blogging. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my adventure!

7 thoughts on “Feelings surrounding my Notre Dame Weekend

  1. Deb,

    Wonderful,wonderful,wonderful-your descriptions, your scenes, your reactions. You summed it all up so beautifully. Isn’t it amazing how our children are the impetus for stepping out of our comfort zones? And what a reward you gained by doing so. I had similar feelings on the Brown campus in August when I attended the writer’s conference. I looked around at all that “youthness” and found myself wondering if they had the slighest inkling how lucky and privileged they were to be students there. I also went to Spain over Christmas break when my daughter was an exchange student during her junior year in college. Just watching her speaking Spanish with her family and finding her way in a foreign country was so rewarding. Of course, by the time I visited ,she was so immersed in the culture (dreaming in Spanish,etc) that she was frustrated to have to speak English. I’m enjoying your descriptions and perspectives very much.

    Write on!


    • Kathy, you know just what to say to make me feel lucky to have met you in Cincy and to be growing in our friendship through our Blogs! Thank you for your thoughts. Wow, your daughter was in Spain? What a great experience for her — and for you, too, since you got to see her “in her element”!

  2. Debbie,

    I too feel very lucky to have met you in Cincy and to have been able to stay connected through our blogs. Yes, it was a bittersweet moment in time when I left my daughter,Leigh Ann at the Malaga airport after a week-long visit. I remember feeling so proud (look at what she has accomplished finding her own way around Spain, speaking the language fluently,etc) yet a little sad- I sent a young daughter off to Spain in Auguest and met a young woman full of confidence and new dreams in January. I don’t think she saw my tears as we waved goodbye..see what your writing does to me ,Deb!!



    • Just know you did something right, to have raised a daughter with confidence and poise! That’s quite an accomplishment, Kathy, to be able to give your children roots and wings — and yes, I know what you mean about the tears!

  3. Debbie, I was especially touched by the comments under “Awe,” “Peace,” and “Jealousy.” You are a really good writer; you brought up some pretty powerful emotions. I think good writing is like alchemy. You spin gold with your efforts. Thank you.

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