Last Thursday Emily graduated from high school. For most of us this is a given, for Emily is was a feat. Not because she is unintelligent, but because she has had to face things that would seem foreign to most of us. She has worked SO hard, far harder than many of us have ever worked. This past year alone she has worked 2 jobs to equal full time so she can provide insurance for herself and Kameron, gone to school, been a full time Mom, and provided completely for herself and her son.
There have been people in Emily's life who have told her she wouldn't make it, and those of us who have always told her she would. She worked hard and she did it. Not only did she graduate, she did so with honors, awards, scholorships, and the respect of her teachers and peers.
Attending her graduation was amazing. I have never been to a high school graduation that was so touching and heart felt. The ceremony is small, about 65 kids from her school (its an alternate high school from the main one). Emily got the chance to speak and she did an awesome job. The subject of her speech revolved around the saying "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." For most of these kids that is something they need to be reminded of often.
Everything about the ceremony was fantastic. The principal's talk was great, you could tell her emotional and invidual connection with many, if not all, of the students. The teachers also had amazing things to say. There were tears many times but nothing compared to handing out the roses. Each student was given 5 white roses to give to the people who made a difference in their life, people who they could not have done this without. Needless to say I was very touched as Emily came down and handed me one of her roses.
I have always been there for Emily. She has become like a little sister to me. I always tell her to remember that my expectations of her aren't high, I just expect things when others in her life may not. She has so much potential and it was great to see that be recognized that evening. As they announce each graduate they list the awards and scholarships they have achieved upon graduating. Emily's list was long, far longer than any of her classmates. Some of them she knew about, others were a surprise and it was awesome to see her reaction.
Congratulations Emily, you did amazing!