I always get emotional around graduation, but this year I managed to keep myself busy enough that there wasn’t time to weep. It’s not only the children that graduate and go on that bring tears, but the colleagues that retire, move on, and leave us for one reason or another. This year my teaching partner departed. Not only was she a colleague, but I taught her son when he was in second grade (he’s going to be a high school senior next year). We were also classmates getting our grad degrees together. Most of all, though, we were friends. There’s a quote from my favorite children’s book, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. It was a book both of us fell in love with instantly. The quote reads:
“But, reader, there is no comfort in the word “farewell,” even if you say it in French. “Farewell” is a word that, in any language, is full of sorrow. It is a word that promises absolutely nothing.”
Honestly, I don’t need it to promise anything. I’ve learned so much from her. Most importantly was way she cared for each child. The memories I have, I will cherish forever.
There’s a song from the musical Wicked that we both love and here’s a line from it: “I know I am who I am today because I knew you … who can say that I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
I’ll never be able to hear this song without thinking of her.