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It’s time to say good-bye

Posted: May 31, 2012 9:59 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2012 5:00 a.m.

“Graduation is the bridge that connects years of learning to a lifetime of success and happiness.”-Unknown

The End. It is two words that conclude a story or a novel. It follows the “happily ever after” and the final chapter. What about the “The Ends” at the ends of a chapter in our story called life? Nothing prepares us for it, it just happens.  So, whether I want to do it or not, I am here to say good-bye. I promised myself I would set aside one column for myself, one “selfish” column to relate it to me. Yet, this isn’t about me but about the people whom have gotten me to this point in my life. Those who have guided me to the point of closing the book on this chapter in my life…and I want to say thanks:

To Momma: or Mommy “Lorelai” as I affectionately call you. Mom, you are my best friend, mentor, gossip-pal, supporter, cheerleader, chef, and someone I know I can always count on. You inspire me, not only as a mother, but as a person. Your character is awe-inspiring. You have this compassion for those you love, and have a stubborn persistence to fight for justice. I want to emulate that one day as a mother and a woman of God. I look up to you Mom, and I appreciate you in more ways that I can put into words. Thank you for being the rock in my life.

To my Daddy: As a child, I was always known as “Daddy’s little girl” and I want you to know, I will always be your little girl. You have a gentle and humbling spirit about you that I love. Your quiet mannerisms speak volumes when you stand up for what you believe in. I adore that about you. I adore our special bond where we have the deepest conversations about religion and life over you teaching me how to drive. Thank you for setting the bar above and beyond for the kind of man I want to find in a partner one day. Thank you for doing the little things for me, like filling my car with gas or running to the store late at night when I forget something for a last minute project. I look up to you as a man of God as well. You inspire me when you talk about “The Master” and your own personal faith. It inspires me as a Christian and how I approach my own relationship with the Lord; as one of just that a relationship with someone who loves me I know more than can be put into words.

To my sister, Caroline: “Gracie girl.” Your vivacious personality and drive is going to take you far in life. You’re a wonderful girl, Caroline, and my dearest friend. You have a big heart, and I appreciate all the times you’ve been there for me. As a sister, I’ve found a life long friend in you and am blessed to have you in my life. Never back down even when everyone’s giving in, and know God will guide you through all of life’s trials.

To my godmother, Sherry: My “fairy godmother” and one of the most important women in my life. You don’t know how much you mean to me, being that silent support in the background of my life. I’ve never told you, but I keep the Bible you gave me at my Christening. Within its pages are every letter, note, and card you’ve ever give me. I call it my “Sherry Bible.” It’s a reminder to me, that no matter what I’ve got someone I can call if I need a listening ear or helpful advice. I love you Sherry, and am grateful for a godmother who is a true gift from God.

Hannah and Jessica: Friendship is a precious and delicate thing. Some friends are for only a season, while other bonds last a lifetime. We have been and always will be “The Three Musketeers.” My relationship with y’all defined my childhood and early teenage years. While our friendship has changed some over the years, it’s always been strong. The memories we have will be carried in my heart forever. Thank y’all for being the best friends I could ask for. I love y’all.

Jenny Proctor: Proc, you inspired me; not only as a journalist but as a Christian. You do not realize the impact you have on your students, but it is life-changing. It’s simply because you go above and beyond to care, to personally relate to each student you teach. I have learned so much from you, and you began the flame that became my passion for journalism. Thank you for all that you’ve given me, for all the times you’ve listened or supported me during milestones in my life. It means more than I can express. I love you, and will miss you next year!

To the Hinsons: Butch, Alicia, Wesley and Walker. While we may not be blood relation, there is no doubt we are family. I probably spent as much time at your house as a child, as I did my own. You guys have always supported me and loved me like I was a part of your family. I feel like I have grown up with two sets of parents and thee siblings instead of one. Thank you, for your unwavering support and unconditional love. I will be coming home on the weekends next year to two families. I love you guys.

We can’t get a crash course of how to say good-bye or how to handle a change. The thing is, we just do it. So, I will buckle my seatbelt in this next week, and begin the ride of my life. Yet, I will not be afraid. For as the Lord says, he will guide us through the storms of life and so will those we love. It is our loved ones we leave behind that seem to be source of our tears. But that is the beauty of unconditional love; while distance or time may separate us, home and those that we love will always be right behind us. If we look over our shoulder as we take a step into that unknown and that new beginning, they are right there smiling, supporting, and loving us as they always have and always will.

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