June 1, 2017

Den, Em and I are going to the 8th Grade Dinner/Dance tonight. It is one last time for all of the kids to be together before they all go their separate ways after graduation tomorrow night. I had a few special surprises for her tonight. Carrie at the flower shop helped me make a beautiful choker corsage for Em. She loved it and was happy showing it off to the other parents at the event.

I know the picture is blurry, but she just could not hold still for anyone or anything. She is more beautiful everyday. She is wise beyond her years and full of surprises with her caring, loving demeanor.

Den even got up to dance with Em. All of the other parents knew what our family had been through in the last year. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Everyone was snapping pictures that was not dancing. My heart was filled with love and pride to see the two of them dancing together. A year ago, I didn’t think we would all be here today. But God and luck were on our side. I took a turn on the dance floor with Em when Den was finished. It was awkward for Em, but I didn’t care. I wanted my dance with my daughter!

Tomorrow would be the last time all of the kids would be together for quite a while, so all of the parents let the kids goof around until it got too dark to see them in the gazebo.

June 2, 2017

Tonight is Em’s graduation. It seems surreal to be doing her hair and makeup for tonight. She decided a while back to use the same dress for Confirmation and Graduation. The color and fit are beautiful on her.

We arrived at the Church early so I could get some pictures around the school of Em. She is more beautiful than I ever remember. She hates having her picture taken, so I decided to take most of them with her not looking at the camera. I think it brings out her contemplative side. Before Em met up with her class in the school, I asked her where the best place for us to sit so we can see her would be. Luckily, she is going to be on the same side as the location we have used for Den’s wheelchair!

When the class finally entered the Church, I was blown away by how mature they all looked. Em was beaming as she walked down the aisle. She was surprised by the group with us that had come for her graduation. Sitting with us were….Roberta & Erwin (Den’s sister and her husband), Auntie Yaya, Uncle Fuzzy, Kevin, Karen (Em’s half-sister) and her family. The only missing link for me was that my parents were not able to get home in time to be here. Em was upset at first, but we all knew that there was nothing we could do about it.

Em was selected to do one of the readings for Mass. She did a beautiful job. Before we knew it, it was time for diplomas and awards. Em received several academic awards. The surprise ending was when she was selected to receive the Fr. Burke Scholarship to the school of her choice. This award is given to one student. The student writes a essay about how their faith has impacted their life. Em was chosen out of 5 submissions that year for a $2000 scholarship! I know that I was beaming and crying at the same time. What more could I ask for! A beautiful, intelligent, loving daughter who just won a scholarship that I didn’t think she had submitted an essay for consideration!

On the way home, Em asked if we could stop for some dinner. Her food of choice is Panda Express. She loves their Orange Chicken. She wore her cap into the shop and got congratulations from all of the staff. It was the icing on the cake for her. We will be having a party for Em at the house in a few days, so for now it is eat, home and off to bed. It has been a few long and busy days for us.

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