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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Graduation 06 - 5-31-07

See the next several posts for pictures. I'm not even going to try to identify them because I can't see most of them. If you're confused, look at the pictures on the banner. Rebecca is the youngest (in pink), Rochelle (middle child) is wearing that slinky black number, and Elcie is in the very sophisticated green and gray. That tall blond young man is my son Tim and there may be a picture of Rochelle and her mom. I'm not sure.

The medical term for Elcie's "disability" is spastic diplegia It's a form of cerebral palsy which primarily affects the lower limbs. In Elcie's case, her eyes and her fine motor control were affected as well and other problems have surfaced as she's grown older. She's had years of therapy, two surgeries on her legs, and one on her eyes (to straighten them).

I can remember when we weren't sure if Elcie would ever walk unaided. We didn't know the extent of her learning disability or her fine motor problems and we didn't know if she'd ever be able to read fluently or write without difficulty.

That same little girl is almost a young woman now. She walked across the Middle School lawn to receive her 8th grade diploma and will begin high school in August. Her smile, which I could hardly see through my tears, lit up the place.

She's mainstreamed with some assistance and special accommodations. Her counselor is sure she will keep up and graduate from high school. Right now she's sure she wants to work with animals and there's no reason she can't. She can do almost anything she wants.

Yesterday she went with the rest of the 8th graders from our four middle schools to Marine World which is a combination zoo, water show, and amusement park about 135 miles northwest of here in Vallejo, CA.

I'd forgotten to tell her not to go on the adult rides. It didn't occur to me that she would. She came in at about 9 p.m. to tell me she'd ridden the roller coaster that turned everyone upside down. "Grandma, have you ever been so scared you couldn't scream"?, she said. I told her I believed so and asked her if she enjoyed it. She did, she talked about it for the next hour.

The other highlight of her trip was being soaked when a dolphin decided to get frisky. She was still a little damp when she came home. I'd suggested taking a change of clothes (I've been to Marine World before) but she shrugged and said "If I get wet, I'll dry".

She misjudged her spending money and didn't have enough left for lunch. A friend bought her a smoothie and the chaperone treated her to a hot dog. Last year on the end of year field trip to I can't remember where, the same friend didn't have lunch money and Elcie treated her. What goes around comes around.

She came home with stuffies and a snow globe. A dolphin, a tiger, an Orca, and something else. Oh yeah, a walrus.

This may sound strange but I'm so glad I didn't put restrictions on her. It's natural I suppose to fear for her and be overprotective but I need to let go a little more.

Rebecca and Rochelle have one more day of school and then out for the summer. Elcie had the choice to go or not go. She chose not. She's had a very busy couple of days so it's fine with me.

Elcie and Rochelle will have a couple of weeks off and then summer school. Rebecca will hang out with me.

Ray has been in and out of hospital since I updated last. It's the same old thing; trouble breathing and chest pains. He has more tests scheduled for next week.

I think I told you grandbaby Jonathan is now a year old and walking all over the place. He's giving his mommy fits. He's learning to climb and never saw a cupboard door he didn't want to open and explore. I think he's going to be his daddy all over again, heaven help us all.

And I'm managing. I still seem to tire easily and I've been trying to sit and write something for days without success. The girls have been going through a period of crankiness (to put it mildly) and that wears me out faster than physical exertion. I think we're all tired, still sad, and stressed. Perhaps the vacation time without the pressure of school, early mornings, and homework will help.

I'm going to try to get away for a day or two later this month if I can manage it. There's an outside chance of San Francisco to meet a blogging friend. If not, I'll figure out something. Perhaps Tim and I will take the train in and just visit friends. And there's always baseball if the Giants are in town although the way they're falling all over themselves this year I'm not so sure about that.

I appreciate all the comments and the emails even though I haven't responded to all.

Sometime I'll catch up my hopelessly out of date blogroll and get back to more regular posting.

Meantime, I'm still around; a little battered but functioning.

Have a great weekend and take care everyone.


Diane J. said...

I don't know why you can't see them but all the pictures are showing up for me, Ann.

Congrats to Elcie and all she's accomplished.

My hubby has moderate cerebral palsy. His left side is paralyzed and he limps. His left arm and hand is withered and he doesn't have any use of it at all because it's contracted so badly. Mentally he's fine although I do question that diagnosis occasionally, LOL! ;D

Hopefully you'll all settle into a better frame of mind now that school will be out. Hope you get to take a trip and get away for a bit, too.

Love and hugs,


Puss-in-Boots said...

Elcie sure is a fighter, isn't she? Well done to Granny Ann for that, though.

I'm so use to spelling Elcie's name with the "c" that when I was typing a report on a patient called Elsie, I spelt her name with the "c" all the way through. Not surprisingly I got it back with some terse comments...oops!

Merle said...

Hi Ann ~~ Lovely photos of the girls and Elcie looks so proud and happy. They are all growing up. I am so glad you have Tim close by, that must help a lot. I cried when I saw how sad your eyes looked, my dear friend. I hope Ray is well again and home with you. You have done so well to cope as well as you have, and those girls are proof of your love and care. Hang in there Ann and I hope you can get some time away. Take care, Much love, Merle.

Peter said...

Hi Ann, congratulations are in order for Elice, the photos are all visible and lovely from here, have you tried posting with Picassa? its a bit slow with one at a time but it MAY work for you.

Penless Thoughts said...

What a good report on your granddaughter. Sounds like she had a blast!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Elcie! And to the other girls for finishing another year of school.

I can't believe that baby is one. Wow! Time flies.

I hope you get your vacation. You certainly deserve it.

lushgurl said...

Oh don't they just grow up sooo fast? The graduation looked wonderful, and Elcie's trip? I am so glad that she had so much fun! Memories to cherish for sure!
Love you Ann

Gawdessness said...

So much love to you.
Your girls look lovely - my oldest girl has been "40 miles of rough road", as my husband so aptly puts it and it has driven me crazy and to tears!
Thank you for posting, we know a little about this being a hard time for you and probably don't know the half.

Many hugs.

Yondalla said...

Happy graduation!

I could see all the photos just fine.

Jo said...

Look at the beautiful smiles! Their sweet spirits just shine with joy and pride. I am sorry that things are still so hard, I wish there was a way to go to sleep and wake up grief free for you. Yay for summer vacation, hopefull the sun will shine, both inside and out.

Anvilcloud said...

Thanks for sharing your joy ... and pictures.

PEA said...

Elcie looked absolutely beautiful at her graduation..she certainly has bloomed this past year! Look at that smile! All the girls looked lovely and they're all growing so fast. Loved seeing all the pictures and glad to hear that things are going fairly good. Now with school ended, another type of routine will start:-) Have a wonderful weekend my friend! xox

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Elcie sounds like quite a young woman! You must be deservedly proud of her.

Angel said...

Congratulations to Elcie and to you!!! What a lovely young woman :)

((((Hugs)))) to Ray, I hope he's feeling better soon.

Love to you of course ((((Granny)))))

Val said...

How wonderful for Elcie, and for YOU! I loved the story of her achievement, including the successful trip to Marine World. Elcie is a WINNER!

clairesgarden said...

all the girls owe a lot of their sucess to you too, your a fabulous granny!!
many bessings!!

Andrea said...

those girls have gotten so beautiful. and you are right about just letting her go and not placing restrictions on her. She is an amazing child and you as always are an amasing granny.
Having experienxed my sisters loss I know that saddness would come in odd waves at odd times. You would almost go through a morning period all over again. It would hit you in the shower and almost knock you off your feet and then let you get through the rest of the day and leave you alone. It still does and it is a few years later. ahh I am wondering if we ever really heal.

Andie D. said...

I love the graduation pics! The girls look so grown up. They're beautiful. Beautiful.

I hope you're able to get away and get your break. Everyone needs a little break now and then.

zzop357 said...

WTG girls,and a job welldone Ann.
The Lord knows how much hard work and effort and time it took to reach this point in all of ya'lls lifes.
My hats off to you and the girls for a job well done.
May your path be smoother, and you find flowers along the way.May Gods blessings find you where ever you go.
The hardest times are behind you now. Start watching the boys, these beautiful girls will take the world by storm!!!
Take care my friend.

peppylady said...

Elcie is very pretty girl and has a beautiful smile.
Wishing her many fond memories in past and in the future.

The Mama said...

Congratulations Elcie!!! Great pictures too, everyone looks so nice all dressed up!

Susie said...

Hi Ann,
Congratulations to Elcie on her graduation! Now off to high school!
We were just noticing that Marine World is now "Discovery Kingdom"
Glad she had fun. One can hear the screams from the park for quite a distance!!
Hope you find some time for your getaway too!!

Turtle Guy said...

Wow, a whole raft of pictures! They do make for the best blog posts, yes?

All this talk of graduation has me thinking about mine... in about 10 years! :oP

PI said...

You should be so proud of your girls. What beautiful eyes Elcie has.
The grieving process won't be rushed- keep your spirits up. I hope you all have a lovely summer.

JunieRose2005 said...


I enjoyed all the pictures.

All your girls are very pretty.


WSRF 8th grade said...


What a beautiful post. You must be so proud of them all. I didn't get a chance to see Loren walk across the stage because Devon had other ideas in mind than sitting in a darkened auditorium, I can only imagine yor joy. Caongratulations to you all!

Heather (caloden)

Ava said...

Elcie's experience is a touching one. I'm so proud of her, as you must be! Life can be such a struggle at times.

How cool to meet a dolphin like that and get to wear the water home!!!

And you are right, it is natural to fear for her, but she needs experience in order to grow. You're doing good!!!

And I'm glad that you're still blogging!!!!

Puss-in-Boots said...

Hi Ann

I hope all is well with you and that things are getting a little easier.

Just to say I'm thinking of you.

Heather Bea said...

Elcie looks really proud and happy at her graduation. I haven't commented much but I have been following along with your blog. Hope you are feel better, I know all about girls and their crankiness wearing you out. That is the absolute worst. Hope a nice peaceful summer comes to your whole family.

I tagged you today to answer a meme ( sent to me from MoWo. You answered a similar one back in March of last year so I figured I would tag you again.

Vanessa said...


I've been reading through your archives and wanted to take a minute to say hello. The girls are beautiful and obviously very much loved. I look forward to reading more about them, and you, in future!

Ms. Lori said...

Oh, Ann, Elcie is beautiful! You must be so proud.

Congratulations to her!

lindsaylobe said...

It's a wonderful story of Elcie's experiences and how she succeeds. I hope she is able to achieve her ambition to work with animals!!
What a cool experience to meet a dolphin!!

And I'm in agreement its good you’re still blogging!!

Keep us posted on Ray, it’s awhile since you last mentioned hospitalisation, I do hope and pray he’s soon to feel more comfortable and able to return home to be with you.
Best wishes