Kate Rehwinkel

Kate Rehwinkel, Columnist

Labor Day weekend feels like it was just yesterday. Every year, so many students leave campus that weekend that some people call it “Creepy Weekend”. Most people go home to visit family that they missed for the few weeks after classes began or to celebrate the unofficial last weekend of summer. I go home to check on my parents.

I am an only child and my parents were in their early 40s when I was born. Now they are in their 60s and I feel a lot of responsibility to make sure they are ok and have what they need. My mother has lots of medical issues and often needs help. The summer before my freshman year at EIU she had her appendix taken out and was in the hospital twice. The next summer she had a bad fall and hurt one of her legs, and this year she has been using a cane to walk around after another bad fall in January. I go home on breaks to make sure she has everything she needs and to take her places that she needs to go. My dad also battles skin cancer and severe back problems so I go visit him as well to make sure he is doing fine. As their child, it is my duty to make sure they are taking care of each other and to make sure they get the help they need.

This past Labor Day, my parents did something really extraordinary for me. They had been researching cars for me to buy that would accommodate my tall height and spent weeks looking for the perfect one. On Saturday we went to a car dealership and looked at a used 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV for me. My mom had already checked it out so all I had to do was take it for a test drive. I loved how it drove on the roads and had plenty of room that made it comfortable for me to drive. After a little paperwork and a big check had been exchanged I had bought my first car. The only way I was able to afford a car was from money I got from a car accident claim. I feel very blessed and privileged to have a car and I understand all the responsibilities that come along with it.

Of course, I had to name my car. My mom told me I should name it after a strong woman. Then she got all teary after I named her Donna after her late mother and my grandma. My parents have always been there for me and always make sure I have everything I need. It’s another reason why I try to do the same for them.

Whether your parents need help or not the breaks are a good way to stay in touch with family, even they struggle while we are away at college.

Kate Rehwinkel is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].