By Margaret Ligon
This past year has been full of lasts. I have thought a lot lately about Brad Paisley’s song, “Last Time for Everything.” I could write my own version.
Homecoming pep rally with fog in the gym.
Watching my cheerleaders on the sidelines, sittin’ next to Tim.
Prom Dress shopping and spring break with friends,
Dressing up for Younglife Club looking like twins…
There’s a last time for everything.
Then there are the last weeks of school — last awards night, last IB Dinner, last day of high school (EVER), Senior Dinner, Baccalaureate, oh yeah…and FINALS….the list goes on. There have been enough emotions involved to make a parent (or senior) invest in Kleenex stock!
No doubt I could certainly focus on all the lasts and find many reasons for sadness (times two, for me!). Add to the drama that my twin seniors turn 18 the day before graduation and we may need to open the flood gates!
Many people have asked me how I am doing – “Are you sad?, How are you dealing with TWO graduates and a soon to be empty nest?, Are you surviving Senior Year?”
My answer – I am simply grateful! I am grateful my children have had the opportunity to grow up in a community that has loved them, nurtured them, and taught them the lessons that have prepared them for this day.
I am grateful for loving teachers and administrators who have followed them through high school, sent them newspaper clippings and supported them far beyond their classrooms. I am grateful they have had a childhood like no other – with lunches at Madison Drug Store surrounded by neighbors old and young who genuinely care about them. I am grateful for grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins whose actions have spoken louder than words to my children. I am grateful for a church that has nurtured them and taught them what is most important in life. I am grateful for Younglife, FCA and Madison FUMC Student Ministries and the countless leaders who have poured into my children. And, I am grateful for families in our community who have shown them how to bravely lean in to God and rally together when tragedy strikes. I am grateful for a school system that allows square dances, art shows, musicals, band trips, Veterans Day Ceremonies, special olympics, homecoming week and senior walks. I am grateful for carpools, neighborhood gatherings, and family dinners.
Change is coming, but our children have been preparing for this change for 18 years. More importantly, they come from a community that has prepared them and stands behind them as they each move to their next phase. Most of our Seniors have worked hard, made choices about their future, and have dreamed about this day. Be it college, work, military, or something else, they have a lifetime in front of them and the benefit of a community that will not stop loving them.
Back to the Klennex…I can assure you that I will be “packing” on graduation night (and beyond). But the tears on my face are a combination of pride and gratitude (mixed with a little sadness). Thank you, Morgan County for being One Morgan and remember, Sarah Grey and Kitty Ligon, there’s no place like home!