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Letter to the Editor: Please, don’t turn your back on me

You see an old lady sitting in your class, walking through Bradley Hall, or standing in line at Moe’s. You have waited for years to be away from your parents. Now, you see someone who could be your mom. You consider the old lady a threat to your fun, an imposition on your carefree days at college.

But, wait. Think about it for just a minute. We all know someone we went to high school with who was very smart and should have gone to college but missed out on the opportunity. Maybe she was even smarter than you. Maybe she was your best friend or your cousin, but her parents didn’t support her, or she got pregnant on prom night and decided to raise her baby.

She is the old lady you are turning your back on today.

That is who I am. The girl who missed out on the opportunity to go to college.

I am the room mother who stayed up all night to make handmade treats and crafts to ensure your holiday parties were special in grade school. I am the mother who went on every field trip and always carried a first aid kit, the one with the Band-Aids and a hug for your scraped knee.

I am the softball coach who always encouraged you, who was patient while teaching you the correct way to swing the bat. I am the coach who made you believe in yourself and taught you to never give up. One day, you would hit that ball. I am the Girl Scout leader who showed you how to use a stove for the first time, how to cook scrambled eggs by yourself and how to dress professionally for business meetings.

I am the mother who put your wants before my needs to support you in all your endeavors. I am the neighbor who always encouraged you, the aunt who always had faith in you and the friend who never let you down.

Getting to college is a great achievement. You have worked hard to get to Bradley University. You are working hard to keep up with your classes. I recognize and applaud your accomplishments. I always knew you could hit that ball.

This is my chance to hit the ball, too. I have worked hard to get to Bradley University. I am working hard to keep up with my classes. I ask you for the same respect I give to you.

Please, don’t turn your back on me.

With hope for the future,
The Old Lady

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