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Talking it over: A major milestone

The Class of 2014 will be taking another step in their lives this Friday. They will be advancing through another stage, crossing another bridge, passing a major milestone.

Graduation is no small step. It is a major accomplishment. One that encompasses many minor yet important firsts and lasts.

The parents of these students can probably quickly list the steps these students have taken through the years. Their first steps, first words, first day of school, first ballgame, first program, first report card, first day of high school, first time driving the car, first date, first prom, first letter from a college.

Along with all these firsts there have also been many lasts. These are probably a little harder to accept and think about, but are important milestones to be conquered. The last days of babyhood, the last days of preschool, the last elementary Christmas program, the last day of grade school, the last ballgame, the last concert, the last report card, the last day of high school.

As the class members ventured through all these events, they have needed a lot of help and support. Parents and siblings have been there from the start as have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives. Then later on came teachers, administrators, employers and friends. Each has been instrumental in helping them learn and carry the load of the first 17-18 years of their lives.

A good deal of the last 13 years in school has been geared toward preparing them for the journey ahead. This is the point where they cross over into a new stage in their lives and take a new road. One that will be filled with excitement, sadness, joy, sorrow, fun, work, love, hate, good health and bad. The road may be hilly and curvey in spots, but eventually you come to a straight, flat shot with only occasional obstacles.

As this class goes out into the world and realizes the impact of their past, I encourage them to remember the wonderful foundation they have been given to build upon. Their school days and family lives will be an important base as they go on and make their way in the world. Good luck graduates!