"Goodbye" Is Not A Word

It has been a while since I have written about something, so I think I should help people catch-up. SCSU Commencement was in early May, and I was driving back with Mr. Scarpa in the car from performing at Bridgeport Arena for commencement. I ended up thinking about something on my way home. I just never had time to immediately write about it. Now I am going to write about it.

First, I have never attended a college commencement ever. I can not seem to bring myself to overcome the concept of the finality of it all for groups of magnificent men and women departing in order to join in the celebration of their successes. The final days seem bad enough – especially for music students since it is the “last of everything.” Well, I just can not seem to say “goodbye” to the people that are graduating that I met and established relationships with my first year in college. I know they do not understand. I am 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.” I choose not to celebrate the moment with them. There is no question that some people feel disappointment, some feel anger, some feel indifferent. They should. I held their hands, in some cases, for a year and now they step off the edge into the abyss alone.

I want my friends that I have met my first year (this year) in college that have graduated to know: 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 Southern Connecticut State University and my life. You are all family forevermore. I will leave you all with one final thought – one you have 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. Goodbye is not a word in my book. It should not be a word, period. Goodbye means that you will not fly, when you will. It has been a pleasure to have left a mark of some sort in your life. Please keep in touch and together we will share all the memories together for the rest of our lives and from this point on … until we die.

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