Thank you Ruth Ayres for hosting this weekly gathering here and for reminding us to stop and celebrate.
Last night when we sat down to dinner, my mother, my girls and my oldest’s best friend went around the table and shared our highs and lows for the day. Mine were very much connected. My high was being present to hear my daughter share a sermon at her school’s Thanksgiving chapel. My low was foregoing yesterday at NCTE so that I could be home to attend the chapel. It was the right thing to do, and I am incredibly glad I made the choice I did. I had read her sermon countless times. But, reading it and hearing her deliver it in an auditorium filled with faculty and the entire student body, seeing her friends and sister participate by lighting candles, introducing her, playing music and sharing readings, and above all, listening to her voice and watching her face, was powerful.
Today I celebrate bravery. My daughter shared, with her entire school community, her very personal story. She was honest and brave. And in this proud mom’s opinion, her message was beautiful.
I’m sharing just a few bits of it below.
“My junior year was never supposed to be the perfect storm that it turned out to be. My father proceeded to tell my sister and me that he would be finding his own place. As many of you know, my parents separated around this time last fall. Let down, alone, lost, confused, unable to articulate any of what was going on to anybody, I was completely and utterly caught off guard with incredible feelings of disappointment. I stressed over my junior year grades which took a turn for the worse as the idea of my crumbling family became increasingly real.”
“In the past year, I’ve learned lessons about sadness, hardship, adjustment, and, most importantly, finding silver linings. We all have. I’ve learned what this community is and what we do for one another in hard times. Faced with our challenging lives, our busy schedules, our hurdles and our hiccups, we often lose sight of how truly fortunate we all are. Wonderful moments come and go everyday, often unappreciated, overlooked, or even taken for granted. It may sound cliche to say that it’s the little things that go unnoticed that are so important, but I can’t think of anything that I hold to be more true.”