Getty’s last day of school was on Thursday. Getty got the chance to go to her physical pre-school and see her friends and say, “Happy Summer” to all of her peers.
It was a beautiful day (hot and bright), but beautiful the same in the amount of memories that were created. I am not a mother of a healthy child. I don’t know what it means or feels to a mother who watches her daughter/son walk across the lawn to greet her pre-school teacher and to receive a certificate of completion (diploma). But I can tell you what it meant for me. I am taking the time to say in this manner because my assumption is that a pre-school ceremony is just one stepping stone to kindergarten, then first grade, etc. We were told Getty would not “make it to the age of two”, and that alone makes one realize that this day maybe might not have happened. So stating it in this manner is not to suggest this day was not precious for the other families, it was just different. SMA is cruel in so many ways and even though we give Getty every chance at an amazing life, there is no room for error on our end.
Unfortunately, Mark was not able to come, but I know I can speak for him when I explain this feeling. Before Getty received her certificate, her awesome teacher said sentences like, “we are so glad to have Getty here today.” She could have just stopped there, because that is seriously the only sentence that means the world to us. Getty is here. GETTY IS HERE! We are experiencing events in Getty’s life that we had no idea we would. We have never been doom and gloom and we seriously try very hard to keep the positive in the forefront. But man, did that sentence permeate through my heart.
As a family we also have hard days. Days that can really break a parent’s heart. But with Getty’s unconditional love and support from our family and friends, those moments are fleeting and sometimes are few and far between. So that perhaps simple sentence was both emotional and also a triumphant one.
Watching Getty receive her certificate was affirmation to me as a mother that, “yes, Getty IS doing this and we are loving this journey with her.”
Her teacher spent a few minutes talking to the group of parents about Getty and then she asked the kids how old Getty is and the entire class yelled 4! In my heart and mind, I also said 4 and I had a beautiful flashback of our time so far with Getty. I thought about birthdays, walks to the park, the sound of her giggles, the beautiful moments we have all shared as a family, then I flashed back to where I physically was. I had her hold her certificate and I caressed her hand as the class sang a few songs.
You know I dream of these moments with Getty. I don’t, take these events for granted and I know that our lives are fragile but firm with determination. But I tell you, Getty is a fighter and I know that next year, we will be at the same event and celebrating the completion of another grade level.
It was a very emotional day for me. Seeing all of the kids circle around Getty and welcome her in such a loving way was beautiful. The way in which they take great care to make sure she is involved is such a precious thing to be witness to.
But in true Getty form I could tell she could sense I was getting a bit over emotional and went “Getty” on me. It was clear that at some point in the celebration of certificates, the spotlight was not going to be on her anymore. She had sung the songs, she had received her certificate and so that meant, “let’s go!” Her heart rate increased, she started to whimper and so I looked over at Angie and my mom across the grass and mouthed, “we need to go.” I swear Getty is a diva. If only I could hear and see the dialogue in her head, it clearly would have sounded like, “um…..ok this isn’t about me anymore, let’s go.”
We abided and we left mid ceremony. Listen, I am not going to battle with her. That wasn’t the moment to talk about “sharing”. 🙂
So here is to summer. Getty’s list of to do’s consist of the following.
Walks to the duck pond
Trips to the ocean
Hanging out in jogging stroller as mom pushes the princess.
Experiencing life, love and happiness.