Thoughts from Graduation

Early this morning, the members from the Denver campus of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) were roused from their sleep and finished clearing and cleaning our rooms.  As we prepared to depart on our individual paths, many of us were exhausted and, as we waited out on the lawn, a number of Corps Members (CMs) and Team Leaders (TLs) took the opportunity to catch up on sleep. 

Over the past ten months, we have lived side by side, and now we were preparing to depart from all that we have learned to love and cherish.

As the time neared to walk across the stage, we headed over to the big theatre to line up, practice and continue to wait until we could walk across the stage.  As the ceremony began, words were exchanged and stories were shared, but none of us were really paying attention.  Our minds were distracted by the fact that in a few short hours, we would be leaving all these individuals that we have come to love and care for. 

These teammates, friends have become our family.  We have come to know one another’s strengths and weaknesses, our hopes and dreams, as well as our fears and stories.  We have shared these experiences and our paths now have parted. 

Tears were shed and embraces were exchanged as we gathered on the lawn afterwards.  Family and friends watched on as we broke down, held one another and exchanged well wishes and our final good-byes. 

We parted our ways, returned to the places we once knew.  We are no longer the people who started this project ten months ago.  Those at home are not the same as when we left almost a year ago.  People have grown and so have each of us. 

We cannot expect to go back and fit right back into the life we used to have.  We cannot expect to find the same people as we left them, nor can they expect the same person to return to them.  Our lives will never be the same. 

We have come to love.  To serve.  To grow.

God Bless and PEACE

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