Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Graduation Ceremony #1
This is my niece..."A"! Isn't she beautiful?? Doesn't she look incredibly nervous in this last picture? It was taken just a couple of hours before her high school graduation. A huge number of her family was there (including me and both my boys). These pictures are just a sampling of how special and original she is. Let me start at the beginning...at least the beginning for me.
In the summer of 1995 my dh and I along with That Kid moved from Fresno, California to the Dallas area. All of my family lives in Kansas and it had been 4 years since we had been there to see any of them. I had seen my oldest brother because he was a Marine stationed in California a few times when he got long weekends. But other than him I had not seen anyone in 4 years, so the first chance I got to go up to Kansas for a visit I jumped at it.
That was August, 1995. That Kid had just turned 5...and didn't remember any of my family. We drove the 5 1/2 hours to Kansas and visited with family. It was kind of a strange time....but it was good. We stopped at my parents house then went over to my oldest brother's house, where he lived with his new wife and new daughter. I say "new" daughter because she was new to our family. My (now)sister-in-law had a daughter who was about 2 1/2 years old when my brother met and married her momma. At the time we met them she was just past 4 years old so she was a perfect age for That Kid to play with! And OMG, did they PLAY!! They met each other and played perfectly for HOURS!! We introduced them and didn't see them again the rest of the evening! They became best friends/cousins instantly! I was thrilled to have a playmate for him...I wondered how the trip would go for him...and because of this wonderful little girl it was special!
Since that time every time we went to Kansas That Kid had someone to play with or hang out with...and they got along great most every time. There was a time when they were 12 or 13 when it got a little awkward, but other than that we never had any problems with the two of them getting along. The two of them grew up and matured into special individuals with their own gifts and talents, but a tremendous love for each other.
I watched this little girl grow into a beautiful young lady. She has always held a special place in my heart and over the past fews years she and I have developed a special relationship. She has come to me seeking advice and has asked my opinion on what she should do a number of times. She is always looking to do the right thing and so I want to pay tribute to her for a minute.
She graduated in the top 10% of her class of 402 students. She applied to 4 different colleges and received some kind of scholarship from each of them. She has finally decided to attend a community college 45 minutes from their home and live in the dorms. She received a full scholarship for this college and based on the information she received it will be a great fit for her. This decision was difficult for her....she wanted to attend another community college, the one her boyfriend of 2 years will be attending, that both her mom and my brother (her step-dad) attended, and the one that most of her friends will be attending BUT she made the decision based on "what is best" for her, not anyone else!! I couldn't be more proud of her!
While attending high school she also played in the orchestra, and was a major player on the swim team. She had a knee injury and surgery last year and was unable to swim, so instead she was the manager for the team. I know that had to be a difficult thing for her to do...since swimming is one of her true loves. This year she came back strong and swam for the team, and improved at each of the meets according to her parents. After taking an entire year off, you know it had to be difficult to get her groove back, but she is dedicated and determined to be the best that she can be!
I think I've gushed enough now....but I just wanted everyone to know that "A" is a special young lady who will go places. Her goals for college are to be a Marine Biologist....Wow!! That means in a few years I could be related to a Marine Biologist!!! Whatever she becomes I know it will be something great because she has the determination and willingness to work hard and whatever she sets out to accomplish she can do it!
LOVE YA, "A"!!!