When Brenna Martin graduated from high school, her parents gave her one of the most thoughtful and heartwarming gifts imaginable — one that they managed to keep secret for 13 long years.
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Her father, Brian, explained that he was an elementary school principal at the time Brenna started kindergarten, and he simply expanded on an idea that he got from one of the parents who came to him with a copy of Dr. Seuss’s 1990 children’s book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go.
That parent had asked him and a couple teachers to sign the book, but “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t that be neat if you expand that and do it over the course of kindergarten to high school?’”he said.
When the book was presented to her after her high school graduation, Brenna thought it was “kind of the standard graduation gift.”But when she opened it, she discovered its pages were filled with personalized comments from all of her teachers, coaches and principals over the last 13 years!
Her track coach from middle school, for example, wrote the following:
“Never stop running in the race of life regardless of the obstacles you face. Continue to be that dedicated person that you are, and I know that you will succeed. It was great coaching this year. Coach Baker.â€
Read the post below for her first-hand account of what went through her mind when she first opened this gift. She’ll definitely treasure it for the rest of her life … and maybe even give one to her own children some day!
I graduated from high school this week. When my dad said he had a present for me I thought I was getting some cheesy graduation card. But what I received was something truly priceless. Following the ceremony he handed me a bag with a copy of “Oh The Places You’ll Go,”by Doctor Seuss inside.
At first I just smiled and said that it meant a lot and that I loved that book. But then he told me, “No, open it up.â€
On the first page I see a short paragraph written by none other than my kindergarten teacher. I started tearing up but I’m still confused. He tells me …
“Every year, for the past 13 years, since you started kindergarten I’ve gotten every teacher, coach and principal to write a little something about you inside this book.â€
He managed to keep this book a secret for 13 years, and apparently everyone else in my life knew about it!
Yes the intended effect occurred…
I burst out in tears. Sitting there reading through this book, there are encouraging and sweet words from every teacher I love and remember through my years in this small town. My early teachers mention my “Pigtails and giggles,”while my high school teachers mention my “Wit and sharp thinking.”But they all mention my humor and love for life.
It is astounding to receive something this moving, touching, nostalgic, and thoughtful. I can’t express how much I love my Dad for this labor of love.
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