Although it has been but a year,
I have often sat
right where I do now,
yet this is not the same.
No white coat draped across my shoulders,
no history card in my pocket,
but no prompt could elicit
what you truly have to say.
Your journey has long since begun,
you have seen the oughts come, and go,
and return again,
but not all has changed.
You were there when I was born,
you witnessed my mother’s first steps,
you heard her first words;
you have taught me much.
Today I am a student once more,
and as I watch your quiet slumber
I learn perhaps my greatest lesson yet:
La familia.
For you are not alone in your bed;
more than doctors and nurses come
to call upon you,
we all come in time.
Daughters, sons, nieces, and nephews,
nietos y bisnietos;
all are here for you —
we are family.
And when your time comes to leave,
you will not need your walker —
we will carry you.

David W. Brandel, Class of 2011