Last night we went to the GreenHounds Award Ceremony. The Greenhounds are a school-within-a-school, a group of kids that focuses on environmental issues. You can read more about what they do here.

Savannah joined the first year of the GreenHounds as a Freshman. Four years later she is part of the first graduating class of GreenHounds. There were times I thought she was too obsessive about it, given the amount of work she was putting in.

So, we’re at the awards ceremony. There were four scholarships being awarded, three for $300 and one for $1,000. The MC announces the three $300 recipients. We’re sitting in the front row, with the three sub-recipients right in front of us. It doesn’t yet hit me.

The MC begins his speech about the $1,000 recipient. Now the MC, Mr. C, is a phenomenal teacher. We got to know each other when I chaperoned several HS field trips over the years. He’s very supportive of my daughters, plus he’s a really cool guy. Anyway, he goes on about how this award winner is a special person, how she puts in above-and-beyond, how she steered the organization through it’s troublesome formative year. Alex starts shaking my arm and I look over at her.

She and Douglas are quietly ecstatic. Alex whispers in my ear “He’s talking about Savannah”, Douglas gives me a big thumbs-up and he’s got the biggest grin on ever. I don’t want to believe it, how could this be real after all our family has gone through? Why now? Why this good fortune years later?

It was then I looked up and saw the three girls. They were all Savannah’s friends, the core of the GreenHounds. They had put in the extra time on Sundays. They were 3 of the 4 “Gang of GreenHounds”. I thought “Savannah’s not there, why not?”

One of the girls catches my eye. She’s a great, great kid, a close friend of Savannah. She’s got tears in her eyes, and she’s staring at me. Bam! It hits me. My daughter is going to get the award! I go numb. Mr. C announces it. Savannah walks up and accepts it.

I don’t know what to feel now. I hope that I have been a big part of her metamorphous into a wonderful adult. I hope my steadfastness gave her good memories. I miss our walks in the woods when she was a little girl. I want those days back.

Savannah is going to leave off for college in a few short months. I know it’s her job to go out into the world. I know it’s the right thing. That doesn’t numb the pain of thinking about her leaving.