What a wonderful ending to a stressful week. It seemed that the week would go on forever.... too many people... sad faces, broken hearts.....questions...decisions....endings....good byes.
But on Wednesday, last week, the entire entourage of family piled into their cars, armed ourselves with walkie talkies, piled in the dog (not the worlds best traveler), and we hit the roads for a 6 hour drive to Fredericton. We chatted via texting (a wonderfully fun activity you can do on your cellphone) and we radioed.... it was a real convoy. My brother kept us alert as to where the "bears traps" were, my sister was an hour ahead of us, and gave us entertaining traffic reports. The kids stayed within sight of us, so we were constantly commenting back and forth.... wildlife spottings, pet reports, pee break needs, road conditions, etc.
It was so absolutely refreshing to be free of the house, the hospital, the sadness, the pain. A road trip filled with laughter and mischief, (and the constant coughing by yours truly)
We arrived at my sisters in plenty of time to put together a nice grad party nibbly supper to celebrate Stephanie's graduation. We waited for Terry's mom and sister to arrive (around 7pm) and then we had a great celebration... with our new baby Aurora, the three triplets, and two of Gail's daughters, and all the rest of us!In all the mayhem of the weeks before, Michelle found time to put together a 7 minute video of Stephanie's' life so far, sort of a video of snapshots... with some great pics and funny titles. It certain made Stephanie nervous, and then after it was all over, and everyone had a great laugh, and a few ahhhs, then there seem to be a round of threats.... towards Michelle and a pending graduation and wedding..next year. Sounds like the war is on...and the line is drawn. I am staying out of it. (sorry... can't share the video..;.Stephanie would kill me!!)
Graduation morning dawned cold and dark. I have been to other graduations where it was so hot, you cooked waiting for your child to walk across the platform. But not today....11 degrees (52 degrees Fahrenheit)...brrrr. We had great seats, sort of high up, but a nice view of everything. Gail's camera has incredible zoom so we were able to get great pics/videos. Stephanie dyed her hair with brilliant streaks of green so we could pick her out of the crowd, and although it helped, it was also easy to see her as she was in the front row. After we settled into our seats, Scottie opened the program to find Stephanie's name.... the first page he opened to had Stephanie's name right there. He announced to the gang that Stephanie not only received her honours in her joint majors, but she had received "First Class Honours" which is the highest achievement you can do. Not only that but she was one of 6 with double majors in the First Class Section, and the only one to achieve the "Classics" major, which requires high scores in two languages. We were all very excited and wondered why she hadn't shared this with us before now.... come to find out, she didn't know until they gave her the name card and her placement number. She was in the front row of 500 students. It had been such a crazy couple of weeks, and she never thought she would get such a high standing, so she never looked. How fun for her. And we were so excited for her. She set the standards so high for herself by selecting "Classics" as one of her two majors. She struggled and worried and second guessed herself. And then to exceed even her own expectations, was a nice ending to a very crappy couple of weeks.
Gail made a really fun lunch for everyone and we had some fun photo shoots of Stephanie, even though she wasn't too please...as she hates pictures of herself. But the funnest part of all, was the "haircut" after lunch. Stephanie had planned on getting a fancy hairdresser cut her hair, along with the brilliant color addition. But for some unknown reason, the hairdresser didn't cut it. He told Stephanie to leave it long... to which Stephanie didn't argue. But my niece Patience (a talented hair stylist in St. John) spared no mercy in cutting Stephanie's hair, to a very sophisticated cut.
Congrats, Stephanie... we are all so very proud of you!!