The outgoing president saved the most emotion for his wife and kids.
President Barack Obama traveled to Chicago Tuesday, where he gave an emotional farewell after eight years in the White House.
The two-term Democrat was greeted with chants of "four more years!" as he took the stage at McCormick Place to give his final address as president.
"I can't do that," the president said.
What he could do was offer one of his signature uplifting speeches that helped kick off his ascent to the highest office in America.
"Yes, our progress has been uneven," he told the nearly 20,000 attendees. "The work of democracy has always been hard, contentious and sometimes bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back."
But, he added, "The future should be ours."
In one of the more tearful moments of the speech, Obama paid tribute to his wife, first lady Michelle Obama.
"Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, girl of the South Side," the president said to applause. "For the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend.
"You took on a role you didn’t ask for. And you made it your own with grace and with grit and with style, and good humor.
"And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model."
As Obama teared up, so did his wife and daughter Malia in the audience.
Noticeably absent during Obama's address was his younger daughter, Sasha.
After Twitter exploded with the question "Where is Sasha?" the answer came as a kind of affirmation of President Obama's presiding message that the world will keep turning after he leaves office.
According to a White House official, the 15-year-old high school student remained in D.C. because she has a Wednesday morning exam.