This letter was taken from the family tribute I read during the first night of my graduation weekend. Most of this has already been read out to them, but I've added more since then.
There have been a few times in my life when I have had to take a step back and look at all the people who have helped get me to this moment, but none of those times have felt like this one. This one feels a little bit bigger, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but it definitely feels strange. There are so many people I could thank. I am constantly surrounded by friends and teachers who have helped me become this person that you see standing here right now, but there is no way I would be this person without my family. So, to…
Grandmom & Poppy - Both of you up the most generous, kind, hardworking, and intelligent people I know. You have fed me, housed me, helped me through geometry and algebra. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully comprehend all that you have done for me. Both of you have made my life as wonderful as you possibly could. You are my twin pillars- strong and sturdy, there to lift me up when I fall and to show me how to catch all the stars I could possibly hold. Without the two of you, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I am so proud to be your granddaughter.
Mom - For the past 18 years, you have given me everything I could possibly need or want. Notebooks for school and for writing down poems. Food for our house and for SA events. You have showed me how to see the good in everything. You have talked me down from many a figurative ledge, and you have always been there to pick up the pieces when I’ve fallen apart. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have a best friend for a mom, but I’m glad that I did. You have filled our home with love and with music, with poetry and with happiness. You have made my life what it is, and while I know it hasn’t always been easy, you have been the strongest role model I could have asked for. I love you so much. I am proud to be your daughter. Thank you for everything you have given me.
Austin - For the past sixteen years, you have been the constant in my life. Throughout our childhoods, we have shared rooms, toys, and fights. We have gone through ups and gone through downs, but, still, you have always been there. When I have a problem, I know you are there to listen. When I need someone to be excited about something with me, you are the person I know I can always go to. I am so proud of everything you have accomplished in your lifetime, and I know that you will continue to do amazing things. I am proud to be your big sister, and I love you very much.
The "Senior" Girls - All of you will always be the senior girls to me. My life would not be the same without all of you. Each of you have shown me how to be a better thinker, better speaker, and better person. Without any of you I wouldn't have become the person I am. I wouldn't have grown up this much, and I wouldn't have learned all I did in the past two years. All of you have touched my life in ways I didn't even think were possible and my life will never be the same, and for that I will be eternally grateful. To all of you- thank you for believing in me and encouraging me to be better. Without you, I truly don't know where I would be.
There are so many more people that I could thank for all they’ve done. Friends, teachers, people who have lifted me up when I’ve fallen and placed me on higher ground so I could regain my standing. Those of you who have taken time out of your busy schedules to talk me out of the ditches I’ve dug for myself, thank you. You know who you are. Thank you for listening to my stories, my thoughts, and my qualms. Thank you for early mornings and Friday talks. Thank you for making me smile, making me laugh, and for crying with me when I needed you to. I don’t know where I would be without any of you. I love you deeply. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.