Just a few hours ago, in fact.

But before we get into the milestone of grad,

let’s take a look at the stepping stones that led us through the past couple of weeks

to the brink of our seniors’ new life…

Stacks became something of an…uhm…recurring theme!

In my back yard during “Collin’s-unofficial-get-together-for-which-Miss-Phoenix-did-the-cooking-and-which-happened-to-take-place-in-her-home.”  (It was NOT a Creative Writing party…wink, wink!)  Have I mentioned how much I love these people?  They’ve been the rum in the caramel sauce of my tiramisu becher, the rasberry stripes in my favorite white-chocolate cheesecake, the Dijon mayonaise on my portion of paprika fries.  They’ve been so much more than I ever expected or knew to hope for, and I simply, quite sincerely, love them.  They are one of God’s great, unexpected, undeserved gifts…I love that He still surprises me that way.

And even after the party moved inside, the poets kept stacking.  (Good thing I invested in a sturdy couch…)

Erin and I stacked up under a blanket at the dorm to try to get away from the Kamikaze flies who were dive-bombing us from all sides!

And Squirt, Ahram and I got to have one LAST stack-up on my couch as we watched another TV marathon, devoured leftovers, and contemplated the end of an era.

My small group, not to be outdone, did its own part to perpetuate the stacking-up theme:

And much as we prepared for it, dreaded it, anticipated it, relished it and tried to ignore it, grad did sneak up on us.  It culminated in a victorious whoop to the sound of the Theme from Gettisburg…

Oh to have a dozen hands, each holding a dozen cameras!  I missed some of my very favorite people with my limited camera-wielding, but I did get these others of my favorites, whom I love, love, love, love, love….


Grad at BFA creates a conflict of emotions of collosal proportions.

We CELEBRATE the end and the beginning it represents.

And we GRIEVE the loss of people who have been closer than family and whose lives are inextricably linked with ours.


One of the hardest goodbyes for me will be to Ahram…  I’ve loved her since she was in seventh grade, and I’ve seen her grow and deepen and brighten into the amazing woman she is today.  From our “baking sound effects” to her shattering “MICHEEEEELLLLEEEE!!!” whenever she saw me approaching, she has impacted my life (and my eardrums) in ways I can’t begin to describe.  I can’t imagine a BFA year without her in it, yet I know I’ll have to face that reality when school resumes in August.  And who’s going to pose for pictures like this one, keeping me company as I hold up my quadruple chins??


By the looks of it, Christine (aka. Taylor) might be next in line for the honor!  

As painfully joyful as BFA graduations are, I wouldn’t want them any other way.  As CS Lewis so aptly put it, “our pain now was our joy then,” and the reason it hurts so much today is that it was so very good for so many years.  How fortunate we are to love the way we love at BFA.

A final note to my dear small group girls, my dear Creative Writing authors, my dear Storch seniors,  and my precious Ahram:  God is good.  He is good when we suffer.  He is good when we thrive.  He is good when we’re alone.  He is good when we’re surrounded by friends.  And He is good when we say the kind of goodbyes that feel at once like an amputation and a death…even when we know they herald a new, bright, unfathomably fulfilling life!  Cling to Him.  Trust in Him.  GO TO HIM.  He is there–even when no one else can be.

I love you all….




  1. Amen, He’s good…..

  2. what a poignant rememberance of such a beautiful time. it seems more painful at a school like BFA where you have developed such bonds with people who are now going to be sent to all corners of the world. what a blessing and what pain must be yours, and those who also love, learn and labour there.

  3. you made me cry….

  4. Great pics, thanks!

  5. michelle…im hurting

  6. i agree about the “genuinity of tears” proposal.  those last few hours meant more than i really can think about to me, but i didn’t cry.  i’m not a very tearful person… that’s all.

    thank you for your support.  i hope that you got the message:  you’ve had a HUGE impact on my life.  i didn’t really like to write before i entered creative writing, and the mighty adventure club was practically born in your classroom.  i met collin there (even though we both thought we were overemotional pigs) and became kristoff’s pall there, too.  it was– you are, incredible, to say the least.

    thank you for writing those things about me.  it made my 40-hour day to hear that from your hand.  and it made it a little less awkward in that silly hat to think about all the time i spent in creative writing.  that hat was a killer, wasn’t it?  hilarious!

    we’re keeping in touch… i just thought i’d let you know.  i planned to anyway, but stargirl said she’d headbutt me if i didn’t, and so, mostly in the spirit of kindredness, and secondarily in that of self-preservation, expect to hear from me over the next few months (i’ll be back at christmas for a few days… making new memories, not trying to relive old ones) and we can have lunch or something.  i’ll buy, because i’ll have a job and a driver’s license again.

    thanks again.  stargirl and i have both been blessed by you more than maybe you’ll ever know until heaven rolls around (in which, i might add, it will snow.  God made snow.  so there, miss “i hide from the crystal mischief falling from the sky”.


  7. Michele…

    I cannot tell you how much I treasure your entries. You always seem to highlight those who are dear to me in ways that seem to draw them near, if only just for a moment. I have always been encouraged knowing that you are there, loving on and supporting these beautiful men and women who have made eternal marks on my heart. Thank you for your gracious ministry to BFA and to the world.

    I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of your new book. I suspect it will arrive just after I finish the book that I’m reading now and it’s timely words will be inspiring and encouraging, comforting and challenging…

    Thank you for your faithful posting and story telling.


  8. you know what i realized we never said goodbye nor did we ever get to write in each other’s yearbooks..wow sorry about that michele..how are you by the way?

  9. thanks for the compliment! i guess its just you and me michele..star academy and grey marathons..

  10. you are right…technology has proven itself by providing us with faster connections with the thing called internet. still, it is nowhere near as good as seeing someone face-to-face. i mean, i remember when i was in your class learning to use the five senses to show our emotions or actions but it was still nowhere near as good as seeing taelyr jump off the desk and tackling someone. anyways, i guess i am just going through the aftershock of graduation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *