I can recall what I consider favorite “snapshots” of my life. The day I was cast as a lead in the second grade musical, “Once Upon a Lily Pad” (it jumpstarted my fascination with theater), turning the tassel on my graduation cap, walking along the cobblestone streets of Florence during a summer abroad, walking down the aisle toward my best friend Dan, and most recently, having the incredible opportunity to write this column.
My time spent as a columnist for The Sun was short lived, but I cherished every moment.
Each word I wrote was composed with meaning, bolstered by the sincerest appreciation for my readers. I have had the pleasure of meeting and corresponding with some of you, and I was both humbled and inspired by your support.
I have had the privilege to work at The Sun for over two years, reporting for the community I have lived in since I was five years old. Needless to say, my decision to embark on new adventures elsewhere was not easy to make.
During my time spent in Hamburg and its surrounding areas, I have met hard-working business owners, devoted mothers, proud fathers, honorable leaders and selfless volunteers. I delighted in interviewing a 75-year Girl Scout, a teenager who overcame his rare disease to get back on the soccer field, a woman who turned her sea glass art into a business and a U.S. soldier who survived a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
Yet this is just a narrow sampling of those I had the honor of writing about, and each person I met had their own remarkable tale to tell. Though hardship befell on community members far too often, I was always moved to watch friends, neighbors, even strangers, rush to the aid of someone in need. I was proud to be a part of such a generous community.
My position at The Sun also allowed me to partake in exciting opportunities.
I reviewed novels and plays, tried my hand at tai chi and aerial dance and even learned to shoot a gun through an Erie County Sherrif’s program.
The first steps on my journey will be a bittersweet experience. I look forward to what lies ahead, but I know all too well the great community I have to leave behind.
So as trite as it may sound, I refuse to say good-bye. Instead, I look forward to one day coming home.