This has been an emotional week for us. Greg’s alumni concert and his last concert directing the TSU Jazz Ensemble were absolutely amazing. So many students and parents and friends and family came out to support and love on Greg for all his contributions over the last 27 years at Tarleton. It has been humbling, inspiring, exhausting, surprising and completely wonderful. I am so very proud of him. His accomplishments are demonstrated through the heartfelt letters, notes, cards and good wishes shared with him by his students and colleagues. He has made a difference in the lives of his students. What more can one ask from a career? Saying goodbye is difficult.
But the excitement over what we are planning to do is palpable!! Everyone is so encouraging about our leap into the unknown. I love how excited everyone is for us as we move forward toward this crazy adventure.
We also said goodbye to our church family last Sunday. I was not expecting to be so moved by this experience. They held a lovely reception for us. I anticipated coffee and perhaps some donut holes. But they had such a beautiful buffet and so many people came to say goodbye and wish us well. I did not anticipate this somehow. After our church service, Greg was playing, but our pastor had me and Chelsea come to the front of the sanctuary so that everyone could come give us a hug and tell us goodbye. This was an unanticipated spiritual experience like none other. I felt as though these people, who we have shared life with us for 25 years, who have supported us through births and deaths, and times of deep concern and moments of great celebration, will go with us as we live our dreams. They will continue to inspire and encourage us, even as we leave this town where we have lived nearly half our lives.
This weekend, our son David graduates from The University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Acting. I am so proud of him. He is so creative and talented. He is passionate about his craft and intent on being true to every character he portrays. I always knew he was smart, but he didn’t really know it. I hope he knows it now. He is graduating with academic distinction. Good for you, David! I knew you could do it. As you say goodbye to your friends and your university experience and move to New York into your own unknowns, remember that you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to.
So, it is with a grateful heart that we leave this special place and all these remarkable people. Early Tuesday morning the truck will be packed and we will pull out of the drive to head to Ohio, then Canada for the summer and Italy in September. We are definitely excited. I have moments of trepidation wondering if we are doing the right thing but they pass quickly. Mostly I feel the time is now. We hope to embrace the freedom of traveling light and experiencing all that lies ahead, while we are youthful enough to go for it.. Most people seem to do this kind of thing when they are young. Ah well – I think it will have been worth the wait. As we say goodbye to our lives and friends in Stephenville, we say hello to a whole new world that awaits. Follow our journey with us along the way. Exciting times are ahead.
Remember that we are always available to you and your friends and family for custom trip planning to Italy, France, Ireland and all of Europe. We also have an exciting small group trip to Tuscany planned for May 2018. You can reach me at email@example.com. I would love to help you make your travel dreams to Europe come true!