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The Journey


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This is a special moment
A time for congratulations,
You’ve worked so hard and so right now.
Savor this, your celebration.

We look back on the past four years
And feel both pride and disbelief
Marveling at you and all you’ve done
We feel both sadness and relief.

It seems like it was yesterday
You found your locker in the hall.
And now here you are, so handsome
So beautiful, so tall.

How did time pass so quickly?
We blinked and you had grown.
It was “Mom and Dad look at this”
Then “Mom and Dad leave me alone!”

But it’s okay. We get it,
You’re just growing up too fast.
Can we freeze time for a moment?
Between your future and your past?

That summer after fourth grade
You learned the house that you were in.
You learned the names of all your teachers
And then you texted all your friends.

That first day at middle school
You felt a little out of place.
You were prepared, but you were scared
Soon your doubts were all erased.

Today, cherish all the memories.
When you sang your heart out at the play
When you gave a speech for Student Council
When Jump Rope for Heart was quite a day.

Those were fun times. But then came hard times.
“Verona Strong!” We’ll get through this together.
We never thought the year would end like this.
But these tough times won’t last forever.

Now you’re heading off to high school.
And we’re not sure just what to say.
We want to try to share some wisdom
Advice to help you on your way.

Keep on searching for yourself
That is life’s greatest task.
It’s not about having all the answers.
It’s about the questions that you ask.

It’s okay to feel unsteady.
Just breathe and push on through it.
Dare to wonder and to dream.
Set a goal. Work hard. Pursue it.

There will be some things in life
You will struggle to understand.
If you face a mountain, you can move it
Things don’t always go as planned.

Life will test you. Life will try you.
I think we’ve all learned that this year.
Find your center. Find your courage.
Let your joy outweigh your fear.

Make mistakes. Change course. Just own it.
No human being is free from flaws.
Find perfection in a sunset.
Let nature fill you up with awe.

The universe is vast. When you feel small,
Remember that you have worth.
Choose love, be kind, help others
Take good care of Planet Earth.

When you stumble, keep on going.
You have already come so far.
May your life be a miraculous journey.
Of discovering who you are.

Jennifer Kleinknecht has been the media specialist at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School since 2007. She writes about life as a school librarian on her blog, “The ‘Yes’ Librarian”.

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