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Dear Yale University

August 27, 2013

Dear Yale University

I was daydreaming about your prestigious school last night at dinner.  Had I answered a question with better timing, my mental absence otherwise would have been barely perceptible.  I was thinking about what it had been like dropping off my son to become a future Eli and Bulldog fan.  In the middle of supper, my thoughts drifted to thinking wouldn’t be great if we could all call him and say, “We made it home from New Haven.  We’re here, and it isn’t the same without you.”

That last part is actually true.  His absence from your campus, however, isn’t because he was denied admission.  The stark reality is much more cruel as Reed died five and half years ago.  My daydreaming was fantastical grief thinking.  Wishing that the school my sweet boy announced on a family trip in 6th grade was actually where he was, rather than the bitter reality.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  All those years ago, we didn’t know that a sweet red-headed boy from the Minnesota prairie even knew what Yale University was.  But he did!  On a snowy winter drive home from the place where he is now buried, he proclaimed he would be attending Yale, as if it was a menu option he was choosing.  When questioned, he knew all about it, even going so far as saying he would much rather attend Yale than Harvard.  His dad and I simply shrugged, but secretly I know we both smiled in our hearts the rest of the drive.

That year for Valentine’s Day, we gave him a YALE hooded sweatshirt.  Most of his clothes have been made into teddy bears or quilts, but none of us can seem to alter that sweatshirt in any way.  So it sits reverently in a drawer waiting to be worn by a boy who isn’t coming home.


The truth is admission for him would not have been hard.  He was that kid! Intelligent, precocious, and a big time dreamer!  He might have lacked organizational skills for material things, but his thoughts were always well beyond his years.

As your new freshmen class arrives on campus, we are excited for the possibilities the future holds for them.  So too are we happy for all of Reed’s classmates and friends as we see all sorts of pictures from moving day from them and their parents. Truly, we are excited and happy for them!  We are just sad for us.  A heart divided really struggles.

Even though, I really wanted to purchase  “Yale Mom” fan gear. (Who wouldn’t want to?)  I won’t be doing that in the coming days or weeks.  Just know one mom really wishes she could.

Thank you for being the place where future dreams are made and for being the place that my boy dreamed would be his school!  May God bless all your new students abundantly!

Go Bulldogs!


A “Yale Mom” in my heart forever

  1. Hugs, my friend! Sweet blog. I’m sure Reed is playing with some “Bulldogs” in heaven today.

  2. Oh Nancy – if there is a way to know that in heaven, I am certain he found those Bulldogs right away. I can imagine the football games with a redheaded left guard right in the mix. Kandy

  3. You’re in my prayers, Kandy! Only the Comforter can minister to that deep sense of loss and the ache of missing your son. I pray He will continue to be “the balm of Gilead” to you. I appreciate and thank you for your transparency & vulnerability. God has used you to touch so many lives already… many of which you’ll only learn about “when we gather by the river of life”. Love & prayers for you, my friend! –Daisy

    • Daisy – Thank you so much! The truth about this loss is that it has drawn me closer to the throne, and my heart’s desire is that drawing closer is evidently seen in all that I do. Thank you for your prayers, your sweet words, and your encouragement. Someday, we all get there, the tears will be wiped from my eyes, and I will get to see his kingdom’s reach through Reed’s story. Much love from Minnesota – Kandy

  4. What a generous, beautiful, eloquent mother and writer you are. My heart goes out to you and yours. I am in the Yale neighborhood at least once a week and will be thinking of you and your wonderful son, with blessings and love, every time. Peace….

    • Thank you so much for your words of comfort and encouragement. It makes my heart happy knowing that you will think of Reed and me as you travel by such a wonderful place. Blessings to you!

  5. betty permalink

    candy its me betty ! girl, I has been 5 years already? omg!
    love your blog and love what god is doing for you and through you!

  6. t h i n g s + f l e s h permalink

    xoxo. tony

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