Posts Tagged ‘graduation’

May 2nd, 2012

Of Ripped Canvas and Thankfulness

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About a year ago, I finally painted a long-bare canvas. I inscribed on it a poem I’d written. This art piece was in memory of our heaven-dwelling babies. I’ve had this canvas in my office at school all year. It’s precariously balanced on an electrical outlet, waiting to be more securely attached to the wall.

Today, that canvas fell, not for the first time, but this time, it met the corner of my desk, resulting in a gash. I was meeting with a student at the time. At first I was bewildered, then angry, then deaf to all that Beka was saying. And then I started crying. I don’t think poor Beka quite knew what to do. I wanted to show my broken canvas to Mari Ellen—she’d appreciated this piece of memorial lament—but she wasn’t there to sorrow with me.

That canvas is the most personally significant memorial I have of my kids. Seeing it abruptly torn, jerked to the surface my hibernating sorrow. For the rest of the day, I was exhausted and slow-moving. It’s funny how such a small thing can summon the heavy, familiar weight of grief. I didn’t expect this small incident to cause such a strong reaction.

Tomorrow, I’ll be participating in the Senior Transition Seminar. It’s a time for Seniors to process saying goodbye to BFA and transitioning to college life. I’ll be talking to the girls about relationships in college. Tonight, while thinking over what to say, my thoughts turned to all of the girls who I’ll be interacting with.

I like these 30 girls. A lot.

I have one month left with them. One more month to enjoy their smiles. One more month to hear their thoughts. One more month to laugh until I cry at their quirky humor. One more month to hug them. One more month share their lives while I can touch and see and smell and hold them. And then they’ll be gone. Off to places all across the world. I may never see them again. And that makes me so very sad. I don’t want BFA sans them.

I was thinking, just before writing this post, about that torn canvas and how sad it made me, how it affected my day. And I rather surprised myself by saying, “Thank you God that I’m sad about that canvas.” I had to consider why I was thankful.

Thank you, God, that I loved, and love, my children. Thank you, God, that I remember them through art. Thank you that these things are meaningful to me because these people are meaningful to me. Thank you that my life is filled with people I love. Thank you, God, that I care about these senior girls, who will soon be moving on to bigger and better things. Thank you that I will miss them. Thank you, God, that my hurt comes from deep love. Thank you for filling my life with things so good, people so good, that I miss them when they’re gone.

June 4th, 2011

2011 Grad Walk Out

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2011 Grad Walk Out Tradition from Israel Jernigan on Vimeo.

BFA has a tradition at Grad every year—each pair gets to personalize their walk out. Here’s what happened yesterday. I moved around a couple times, so forgive the shakiness.

June 1st, 2011

Grad Is Upon Us

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In two days, 60-something seniors will graduate from Black Forest Academy. This is a big deal. It’s a big deal because it’s a milestone they’ve been working towards for 12-plus years, but it’s also a big deal because graduation will usher in what will probably be the biggest change of their lives.

Senior Transition Day

In April, I had the privilege of participating in Senior Transition Day. It was a day meant to help prepare them for transitioning to their passport countries. The day covered topics like building community, what it’s like to go to college as a Third Culture Kid, how to say goodbye to BFA, and how to say hello to America. The Seniors even received practical information about opening a bank account, what documents they need to take, and what to consider when getting a phone plan. I spoke on a panel just for the girls. We talked about managing your time and money, The Freshman 15, drinking, dating, boundaries, sex, extracurriculars and more. I was very excited to participate and greatly enjoyed my time with the girls. I hope the Seniors learned from this day; I certainly did. I walked away from Senior Transition Day with a greater appreciation for the immensity of the change these kids are about to encounter.

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February 1st, 2010

A Christmas Post

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Yes, I know. Christmas was five weeks ago. Today is February. It’s a little late to be posting about the holidays, but at least we’re not posting this in May. So, here’s a little summary of our holiday travels.

On Friday, December 18th, we got up bright and early and headed to my sister’s apartment in Denton, TX. We got in shortly after lunch and met Jude, the epileptic Schnoodle. Jude was a pillow of curly goodness, who happened to twitch occasionally. Israel and I have realized that we’re not really dog people. We don’t like the drooling and shedding and stinking and poop picking-up. But Jude doesn’t stink, doesn’t shed, and doesn’t officially drool (although he does have a beard). Unfortunately, as all living creatures do, he poops. Anyway, we liked him. If we ever get a dog, I think it might need to be a schnoodle.

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