aying goodbye is something that I've grown accustomed to, having moved around a lot during my life, but it still doesn't come easy. The past few weeks have been filled with many farewells; to Harper while we left him to travel to Utah for my sister's wedding, to my family after the vows were said and we returned to Minnesota, and finally, today, to my students.
Surprisingly, the last one turned out to be the hardest. With my dog and my family it is always only a matter of time before we see each other again and so our partings are filled with promises of future plans. Saying goodbye to my students carried with it a finality, because the truth is, this might be the last time our paths cross.
Several graduated high school today and it was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. I brought in my husband's old cap and gown for one of the girls to wear and as I handed it to her this morning I saw her eyes get misty with gratitude. "This is probably the only time in my whole life I will ever get to wear one of these," she said. We both knew it was true, that it was nothing short of a miracle for her to get this far with a learning disability and a two-year-old son.
For other students of mine it was only the last day of the school year. Although they will return either for summer school or in the fall, I might not. This year has been an amazing adventure; one that I never thought I'd be on and one that might end with the summer. Because of this, it was hard for me to say goodbye.
These students have touched my life. They have shown me what second chances can do and they have challenged my stereotypes. They have let me in and trusted me and that is something I take very seriously. My biggest hope is that I was able to show them that someone believes that they can change themselves and change the world. And although we never meet again, I am grateful to them for the role they played in my life. I wish them joy, I wish them love and I wish them a future.