Cottey is a person to me.
I never really realized it before this strange but beautiful weekend I have just experienced. Returning to Cottey made me realize, more than ever, how much walking across that stage last May was a divide of two possibilities: I could have stayed. I could have left. Both had positives and negatives. I left and so I returned and returning made me realize that Cottey is a person to me.
Founder’s was beautiful-seeing old professors and mentors, seeing my Rwacs and other sisters, singing, wearing DJs, learning about the history of my wonderful school and how it has changed but yet continued to make lives better. My favorite moments varied from eating grasshopper ice cream pie taken from Raney by Heidi, to watching the class of 1970 return to one of their freshman a petition signed, refusing to attend traditions until their class flag was returned to wearing my mom’s DJ just for a moment to the hundreds of times arms went around me and held me right. It felt like I never left and yet there was somebody else in Beka and I’s room. The strange mixture of longing to be here but knowing Cottey is mine now in a different way than before-and that I probably won’t see her again for at least four years, if not longer-made me realize that my heart aches for her in the way I would if she was alive.
Because she is alive. To all Cottey women, Cottey contains a spirit. A spirit defined in our language as sisterhood but actually indescribable, known not only in moments of DJs and songs but in moments of tears and challenges. Cottey has made me cry, made me grow, challenged me, betrayed me. Most of all though, Cottey has loved me. You could say it is the people who create this sensation but all Cottey women know it’s not, not entirely. The buildings of Cottey have been there longer than any of us-it’s why they know how to love the best. Because they’ve seen it all occur, and this time round, it was leaving her that was the hardest, as leaving any home who can not be known but by feelings only is.