I Don’t Do “Goodbye”

UD Commencement was yesterday and I was driving back from a week of “doing nothing” in the Outer Banks. I have not attended commencement in a number of years…I can’t seem to bring myself to overcome the concept of the finality of it all for yet another group of magnificent men and women departing in order to join in the celebration of their success.  The final home game is bad enough…then there’s Band Banquet and the annual video I slave over for them–that’s brutal.  To do it a third time, well, I just can’t seem to–to say “goodbye”–and I know they don’t understand. I’m not so sure I do either.

Call it avoidance, call it denial, call it anything you like–every year a group of incredible students make their way out of the stadium one last time and are called “alumni”–and I choose not to celebrate the moment with them. There is no question that some feel disappointment, some feel anger, some feel indifference. They should. I held their hands, in some cases, for four years and now they step off the edge into the abyss alone.

Know one thing Class of 2015–you, as did all the others beforehand, changed me during our time together. Your collective presence in my life added joy, fulfillment, happiness and peace…ok and the occasional challenge as well, but how else is one to grow if not for challenges? You are all part of the never-ending legacy of the UDMB. You are all family forevermore. I will leave you with one final thought, one you’ve heard before:

“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, We will fall!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.”

― Guillaume Apollinaire

…and fly, you will.