I don't like to quote myself, but today there are two stories revolving around two old drawings of mine. No new image can replace them in this post.
This past spring I did the drawing of the Bryant Park for a reason that no longer matters. Afterward I put it up on my locker in the office. Yuri loved to look at my drawings whenever she came for a chat. At the end of the semester, she asked me where the drawings would eventually go. Since she was going to transfer to a new class, I wanted to give her a drawing as a souvenir. She chose the Bryant Park piece. Knowing that she would visit New York City in summer, I asked her to go for a visit and compare the real Bryant Park and that in my picture.
After the summer break, she came back as lively as usual. Today she left a card and a gift on my desk, telling me that she had put up my drawing on the wall in the dorm room. I had told my colleague this morning how difficult it is to change a person's life in a year's time, but Yuri's change contradicts my words. I am not always right.
Last week I sent a letter to Croc, who would be a new class this year too. I tore off the drawing from my journal book and attached in the letter, hoping that she will remember certain things. I am always sending letters to which I know there will be no responses. I have grown used to that. But today when I saw Croc, I couldn't help asking, "Did you receive my mail?" She replied, "Yes I did. When you were drawing the picture, I was with you, praying that you will give it to me." So she had waited for this picture for eight months. And I got to know one kind of reply I might have to all those unanswered letters.
I then told the girls still in my class: Let's open our arms and welcome the old girls to come back when they need us, but we have to encourage them to make new friends too. Personally the latter is much more difficult than the former. It's way easier to keep those we love by our side than letting them go, but letting go doesn't mean losing them.
I am neither an achieved or a famous illustrator, but what I draw every day has come to change some people's lives. In the end, I am changed as well.