In the summer of 2006 my daughter Brooke and I took the 2 hour train ride into Manhattan from the Jersey Shore to go the freshman orientation at Fordham. It seemed like the longest train ride I was ever on. I could sense the nervousness and apprehension my daughter was experiencing. The fear of the unknown I guess you could call it. Little did Brooke know how I, as her mother, was nervous too. I worried about my youngest daughter leaving the nest to attend school in such a big city. I worried that she would not like her choice of schools, would not gel with the living arrangments,would not like the food, would not make a connection with people she could become close to, etc. The usual things parents worry about. When we arrived at the orientation the welcome was cheery and warm and I could sense things would go well and that this was the place for Brooke. As the events of the day went on, the time came when the students went their way and the parents went another way. We did our thing and they did their thing. Come to find out, they had more fun than we did. I remember distinctly the first words Brooke said to me when we were reunited and they were “Mom, I met this really nice girl on the scavenger hunt. Her name is Casey and she is from the Philly area. Did you see her? She was the blonde girl sitting a few rows behind us. I really like her and I hope we can become good friends this year and hang out together.” Needless to say, the train ride back home was much more upbeat and optimistic for both Brooke and myself and it was mainly due to Casey. Thank you Casey! I only had the pleasure to actually meet Casey once and that was very briefly. She had come to visit Brooke and was in her car ready to leave and I was just coming home from work. I popped my head in her car and Brooke introduced me to her beautiful friend with the warm sincere smile and friendly hello. Casey was a good and caring friend to Brooke and was always there for her when she needed to vent or let off steam. Brooke’s wish on orientation day came true and they did connect and that connection will forever be a positive influence on my daughter’s life.