My emotions have been strange these past weeks. I tend to be quick to cry- be I happy, sad, or angry. I just have over-active tear ducts. That being said, they’ve been particularly refined these past weeks. I had my final student voice recital Friday- no tears. I cried my eyes out a few years ago at a similar recital because I was just so proud of my students. (Looking back I realize I was pregnant, so maybe that was hormone induced.) Regardless, no tears Friday. But then when I drove down a favorite street of mine a few days ago I teared up thinking I would never see it again. I cried when I finished my last nursery music session today, but there were no tears when I said final farewells to two adopted Grandma’s here. I teared up as Scotland and I described all the things in his room tonight, and I realized the room I toiled over while pregnant, the room we brought him home to, would soon be gone. As I’ve driven around, I’ve felt like a sponge, trying to take in every site and smell so I can cherish it forever. 

I don’t ever want to forget Cleveland streets that look like this in spring time- a gorgeous water-color in pastels.

It kills me to have to leave behind the magnolia tree that Tom gave me as a gift at my final undergraduate voice recital. It was one of those times when I felt his love so overwhelmingly. He knew of my love of the huge magnolia trees around Oberlin, and so, instead of a bouquet of flowers- he bought me a tree. Only a man with his sensitivity and thoughtfulness would have known how thrilled that would make me. This is the first tree I’ve ever owned, and I’m leaving it.

I’m not sure how to say good bye to all the wonderful friends I’ve made here. Mostly, I don’t want to. I keep thinking if I just don’t say goodbye, I won’t have to close our friendship and we can go on being friends- just from afar. And yet, I want to let people know how much they’ve meant to me, how I’ve appreciated their examples- often viewed from afar. I think I finally understand Christmas cards. I’ve got a whole raft of people I want to keep in contact with, I’m already creating an address list!

Mable Williams

As I write this I’m realizing, it’s the “things” that I’ve cried about most- the comfort of Scotland’s nursery, the awe-inspiring height of the trees on Attelboro; but I’ll always retain the love I feel for Mable and Myrtle, the sweet memories I have with my students, and the friendships I’ve made. I needn’t cry over those relationships- because they will last. 

Katie Thomas- a student, a friend

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