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I’m going to miss you guys. I’m going to miss pulling out in front of you in the parking lot. I’m going to miss awkwardly saying hi to you in the hallways. I’m going to miss weaving through you all in the main commons. It’s going to be rough without you guys.
It’ll be hard to think about what I’ll miss the most, though.
On March 11, my grandfather passed away. For a long time, I thought about what I was going to miss most about him. When I realized I wasn’t going to hear his voice anymore, my heart broke. His voice was downright captivating. It was low enough to be strong and powerful but soft enough to be sentimental and warm. When he spoke, everyone listened.
He was an incredible man with so many talents. He taught math at St. Louis University, took care of my grandmother, raised my father and uncles in amazing fashion, was a shining star in his own community, made sure to take care of me, my brother and my cousins, and he wrote a book with some Korean dude. But, though I can see his words any time I want, I miss his voice.
It had a lasting quality to it. As he got older, I could see parts of him withering away and becoming weak, but his voice remained as solid as ever. I remember at Christmas, he was sitting at our kitchen table talking about his new handicap-friendly minivan and thinking that he could be the voice of movie commercials or audio books. He wasn’t young, but his voice was.
I’d like to think I have that quality in my own voice like he had in his, but I don’t. I have my own voice, but I don’t use it. I hide behind of lot of screenames, a lot of generic profile pictures, a lot of status updates. It’s the era of ever-expanding technology, but my Facebook and my Twitter are muffling my voice. I get my words out, but there’s no power behind them.
What my grandfather taught and is still teaching me is that there’s nothing more powerful than the voice of an individual. He changed my perception with his own voice. He made me realize I can type and text my opinions and my stories to the world all day if I wanted to, but if I wanted a real impression I’d use the impact of my voice. I encourage everyone here to do the same. Never underestimate the influence you can have with your own voice.
Every senior in this school is going different places and doing different things; we may be miles away from each other even though we’re in the same town. We could text each other or post on our Facebook pages, but what is that really worth? We’re far apart.
Maybe what we need is something more fundamental, one simple phone call. Then there could be a connection. Because when I hear a voice, it makes more of an impression than a phone screen ever will.
I miss my grandfather’s voice, and I’m going to miss yours.
By Shannon Freese