I have worked at a private university in northern NY for the last 11 years. I was fortunate enough to have one of my sons attend the university as did my cousin's husband during the time I was there. Once they left I thought, what am I going to do? People I love have left me all alone! Well, little did I know that I would develop relationships with students who came in as total strangers - so much so that I feel like with graduation upon us, I lost again. Its a fact of life. We live, we learn, we love, we lose. I'm speaking of lose in the sense that yesterday is never here again for us. People grow up and move on with their lives, when you seem to be sitting there the same as yesterday only different, because your now alone.
Over the last few years I have developed relationships with students that have been special, but nothing was ever as special as the one I had with the "3 Musketeers". Dan, Justin, & Darren. These 3 boys became like my own children. There wasn't a day that one (or all 3 of them) would come into the office just to say hi. They would do anything I needed, from working open house, to interviewing faculty candidates. They were my reliable students who I could always turn to...and now, in the blink of an eye...they are gone. But they will never be forgotten.
The boys came to see us the Sunday before graduation and touched my heart by bringing me a mantle clock from Things Remembered with an plaque engraved with my name, beneath it, thanking me for all my help, and their names beneath. This of course, put me to tears. Then a few days later, more students came in with the flowers at the top of this post, thanking me for my help over the last 4 years. And, to top it all off, I was able to attend graduation and sat with the parent's of the 3 Musketeers. After graduation was over, I went with the families for a bbq at the boys apartment and before I left, Dan came out with 3 red roses for me in honor of mother's day. I can't tell you how much these students have touched my life and have made me feel so special. It has been a few days now and I still can't do this without getting teary eyed. So, Dan, Justin & Darren, if you happen to read this, know you are always in my heart and will always be my "boys" just as much as my own 2 sons are! You are special!