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Class of 2012 – an open letter to my daughter

Dear Michaela,

I can still remember bringing you to your first day of Kindergarten as if it were yesterday. You ran into the classroom and sat down cross-legged on the floor right in front of the teacher.

I stood at the doorway for a few moments, fighting back the tears, and watched you as you listened to the teacher. When she asked a question you shot your arm into the air – you had the answer! You didn’t look back at me, not even for a second – you were completely engrossed in the story.

So I quietly slipped away, down the hall and out the door. I sat in my car and started to cry. I immediately chided myself for being so silly, wiped the tears away and drove off. You were just going to school for pity’s sake!

Time passed, and we adjusted to this new stage in your life. Do you remember all the notices and newsletters from that school? I was so sick of reading them all! And your backpack – that thing weighed a tonne!  I will never forget when you were the emcee at the school’s Christmas concert. You were great – what a natural!

Then in the blink of an eye you were in Junior High School and then just as quickly, you were in Senior High School. I know it wasn’t always easy for you, but you pressed on learning and growing as a person. Even then, I knew you were strong.

Michaela at Mirror Lake

A few days ago I caught my breath as you walked toward me in a beautiful graduation gown. “No mom, don’t cry,” you said, your eyes pleading with me. And I fought back my tears and hugged you. I felt my pride swell as I watched you step up on the stage during the graduation ceremony.

I came across this poem the other day and thought the words wise and appropriate to share with you as you go out and make your way in this world.


People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be frank and honest anyway.

What you spend your years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.

Give the world the best you have anyway.

Michaela and me

As your graduation theme stated, it’s not the end, it’s only the beginning.

The world awaits you. You are exactly who you should be at exactly the right time in exactly the right place. Use your strengths to hold up the weary. Use your gentleness to soothe those who have lost hope. Use your experience and learning to guide those who feel lost. Be true to yourself – be the same on the outside as you are on inside. Believe in yourself and trust your natural gifts and talents.

And know that I believe in you.

It seems just yesterday you were my little girl. And even though you’re all grown up now, in my heart you will always be my little girl. I am so proud of you and I just know that you will leave a significant mark on this world.

With love, Mom