Amelia Vrieze: The end was scheduled, but still a surprise

How many important endings have passed by without me knowing? How many have yet to arrive?

Amelia Vrieze Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Rochester. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
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Some endings are advertised in bold letters and bright colors. They give you a date, they give you a time, and you show up to celebrate the “last” of something. An arranged goodbye, a neat emotional bundle prepackaged for efficiency, and you’re out the door with a hug and perhaps a few tears.

I’ve had my last day of school, my last SEMYO concert, my last 4-H meeting, and other similar events. Senior year is full of a lot of these endings, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to feel their intended effects. I’ve seen them coming for a while and I’ve already thought them through a hundred times.

Some endings are softer. They sneak up on you, then they’re gone without a word. You don’t know they’ve happened until months or years later. Those are the kind of endings I find myself mourning this year. How many of them have passed by without me knowing? How many have yet to arrive?

When I was little, my parents would sing the same songs to me each night. Eventually I was old enough to sing along with them. At some point, when I was getting a little older, I realized that one day would be the last day for that tradition. I tried to cherish it while it lasted, but it still faded away at some point, unnoticed.

When was the last time that my parents sang bedtime songs with me? I didn’t know it at the time, and now I’ll never know.


This year was the first time that my dad, my sibling and I didn’t go pick bluebells and have a picnic in the woods at the Isaac Walton Wetlands. The bluebells bloomed in our yard, signaling it was the right time of year, but we were far too busy. Before we knew it they had already wilted. Will we ever have a chance to go to “The Bluebell Spot'' again? I’ll be away at school while they’re blooming next year.

Every meeting with a friend has the chance to be the last time I’ll see them before we both leave for separate colleges. First there was the last day of school, then graduation, then the senior party, then various grad parties — it seemed like the goodbyes would never end. Maybe we’ll see each other next summer, maybe we’ll reunite at a reunion, but it’s a big possibility that I’ll never see some of my classmates again.

This is my last column as a teen columnist. It’s an ending that’s been scheduled since the beginning of the year. Is it the last time you’ll read my words? Only time will tell. I’m hoping that all these endings are just the start of great new beginnings.

Amelia Vrieze is a 2022 graduate of Mayo High School. Send comments on teen columns to Jeff Pieters,

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