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But you never let the heavy load you were carrying crush you. Instead every day you grew stronger. Every day brave and resilient.

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By Sandra Began

Dear Jack,

Today was the day. Your last day of high school. You walked out the door this morning wearing the blue backpack you have worn everyday since your first day of kindergarten.

I smiled when you put it on. I remembered your first day of kindergarten. A blond boy carrying a backpack half his size smiling as he walked into his first day of school. A mom and dad watching you smile, anxious and proud as you walked away.

13 first days of school.

13 last days of school.

So many days in between.

That backpack has traveled with you through this thing called life. 

Smiles. Accomplishments. Heartache. Pain. So much change. That backpack was on your back on days I never imagined would have been in your life.

The day you walked back into school after your dad died that backpack was unbearable on your back.

The day we boarded a plane a month before your freshman year to move to a new town, new school and new life that backpack was suffocating.

The days you had to walk out the door and I know you knew I was going back to bed because I was so lost in my grief. It was so heavy on your back and there was so much heavy in your heart.

But you never let the heavy load you were carrying crush you. Instead every day you grew stronger. Every day brave and resilient. The backpack never got lighter Jack. Your just got stronger.

You have a strength you never knew you had in you. You now carry that backpack with ease and grace. You put it on every morning and take whatever comes your way.

Everyday you put that backpack on and walked out the door you taught me something. You taught me I had to be brave and resilient just like you. You gave me the courage to make bold decisions and keep trying even when I felt like I was failing you and Charlie.

I hope that backpack felt light as air on your back this morning.

You said you wanted a new backpack for college. I agree. It’s time to let it go. 

Go live a life without anything from your past on your back weighing you down. The past is the past. Honor it. Learn from it. Know your big, bold, beautiful future is waiting for you.

We all carry around heavy loads every day. Isn’t it time for all of us to let go of whatever it is we carry that weighs us down? Isn’t it time we stand up straight, honor how strong we are and love ourselves enough to let it go?

Thank you Jack for being my son. Thank you for adding light, love and laughter to my world everyday. Now go and live your life with a new backpack. Your future is yours. Go live it.

I love you.

Mom

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