Thursday, November 19, 2009


Here's a great message for students everywhere; it’s about believing in yourself. And for a change it doesn’t come from Star Wars. In his eulogy (speech at a funeral), Edward Kennedy Junior said this about his dad:

When I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with bone cancer. And a few months after, I lost my leg. There was a heavy snowfall over my childhood home outside of Washington DC. And my father went to the garage to get the old flexible flyer and asked me if I wanted to go sledding down the hill. I was trying to get used to my new artificial leg. And the hill was covered with ice and snow. It wasn’t easy for me to walk and the hill was very slick. As I struggled to walk I slipped and I fell to the ice. I started to cry and I said, “I can’t do this, I’ll never be able to climb up that hill”.

And he lifted me in his strong, gentle arms and said something I will never forget. He said, “I know you can do it. There is nothing that you can’t do. We’re going to climb that hill together, even if it takes all day”.

Sure enough, he held me around my waist and we slowly made it to the top. And you know, at age 12 losing your leg pretty much seems like the end of the world. But as I climbed onto his back and we flew down the hill that day, I knew he was right. I knew I was going to be okay.

You see, my father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable, and that it is what we do with that loss, our ability to transform it into a positive event, that is one of my father’s greatest lessons. He taught me that nothing is impossible.

It’s been an honour being your teacher for a while. My best wishes for your future. DREAM BIG! And live the life you've imagined.

Warren Purdy

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