This weekend I was able to witness one of the most amazing events ever...my little sister graduating from high school. For those of you who do not know, my little (big) sister Sarah faces the daily challenge of living with several different intellectual disabilities thus making her understanding of learning much different than mine and yours. Luckily, four years ago Sarah was accepted into a school in Cape Cod, Massachusetts that really specializes in the type of education that would be the most beneficial for Sarah -- Riverview. Sarah and my mom left Crested Butte shortly after I left for my sophomore year at college. When Sarah we seemed to be more of 'siblings by default' than anything..we didn't hang out, we would fight all the time, I didn't understand her, nor did she understand me. It really caused a pretty large stress on our relationship...sure we did get a long, but we just struggled understanding each other. We were not true sisters yet. As Sarah progressed through her years at Riverview I was able to watch a person that I would fight with and saw as immature and annoying blossom into one of the most beautiful people I now know: A person that I love talking with late at night about outfit accessories, nail polish colors, shoes, boys and whatever else sisters talk about and sharing a large hug. Over the last four years Sarah and I have grown closer and closer and closer. She really has become my little sister now -- it is awesome. I couldn't ask for a better little sister...SERIOUSLY! She has a giant heart, and I know she tries her hardest to make sure that everyone is happy.
You see, Sarah and I were kind of in the same vote when it came to graduating this lovely year of 2010. Everyone questioned if Sarah would graduate, and what she would be moving on to within the next several years...well...I watched her walking down the isle today and move her tassel on her cap to the left hand side, my mom, Sarah and family have worked incredibly hard to make sure that Sarah will be entering a top of the line transitional program this coming fall. It is happening. Years ago, I was seen as the one, out of 8, in my graduating class that wouldn't make it through college...welp, I am one of the few that has achieved the status of a college graduate. So there! Sarah and I have both done a phenomenal job of proving people wrong...don't worry we are only getting started!
It was great having ALL the family around this weekend in Cape Cod. I know Sarah was pumped.
I looks some photos on my camera but of course my cord is back in Truckee so we will have to wait to see those, but I was able to snap some good ones on my phone to share.
The monkeys Jack won for me.
Sarah, Phil and I at the sibling dinner.
The sunset from the dinner venue.
Beach balls that Sarah thought needed to go in my purse...
We stayed in this great little place in East Sandwich (near the school) called the Earl. It was awesome...totally time warped 1970's style but actually a GREAT accommodation. I walked into the room and felt like this is going to be a good place to stay -- plus it is puppy friendly, there is a pool, and a breakfast and last but not least a duck pond...
Weirdest looking duck EVER!
They didn't like us.
Banxie sure did like the birds though! ha!
Saturday Sarah had graduation practice in the morning. So far I chugged 8 cups of coffee (okayyy a little bit of an exaggeration...) my mom and I tackled Sarah's room which still needed to be packed up. We FLEW through it! We even managed to toss out about 40% of un-needed crap that she managed to hoard. We donated a majority of her clothing to the Riverview thrift store..and...while we were there we found some AWESOME original ball jars!! Perfect...for a project my mom and I had/have in mind! 50 cents a jar...talk about a steal! Then we met the rest of the family for a lunch a Seafood Sam's in Yarmouth. It was a long drive, but well worth it! I had some scallops and shrimp! Yummo! After that the prom shoe shopping adventure started...we headed to a store called Westies...BINGO...after trying on a few pairs Sarah finally settled on some white flipflops! Yes! We got back to the room met mista' chase, has Sarah hit the shower and then the beautifying began!
We did have some chill pool/beer time before we got started. It was much needed!
Wilson has created two iPad monsters...Oi!
Prom hair! It looked really cool! she had a giant peacock feather towards the back that matched the dress.
We rode to pictures and drop off in Mighty. It was mighty awesome! It has been a while!
All the girls that rode in the limo together.
Phil and Sarah. The best looking couple at prom by far! Sooo cute! Sarah was beyond beautiful!
The kids and the limo.
Mr. Warren Witherell made a guest appearance for Sarah's prom and graduation! How great!
So, Sarah and Phil and the rest of the gang met up in Sandwich and took this GIANT limo to prom. It was SO cool! After kazillion pictures the kids took off and left all the parents twiddling their thumbs about what to do for the next hour before prom started...humm, drinks? I think soooo! Of of Sarah's senior classmates parents suggested Daniel Websters (I think...ugh!) for a beer/wine I thought it was a fabulous idea ------ plusssssssss one of Sarah's classes mates brothers was there and he was a total stud! hahaha! We all headed over there for a "chug-a-lug" as Sue put it, and it really did turn into a chug-o-lug when a distraught phone call came from my little sister. We headed to the school I went and hung out with Phil and Sarah in the senior wing and then they were off and prom started. Everything was okay, Sarah looks amazing! They have a tradition at the dance to announce all the seniors and their dates while walking in (way more than what I ever got! ha ha!) so we watched that ceremony, then the first dance goes to the parents (with their child)...oh yah, I cried...
Then the families are all kicked out and the kids get to start the party!
Of course they have a nice dinner first...
We all headed to a restaurant down the way called the 'Bee hive' for dinner. I had a great salad and some clam chowwwdah -- with less than a moment to spare we headed back to Riverview to watch a senior slide show. Yah, I balled my eyes out even more. Oh my goodnes....thank you to whoever the smart person was that invented waterproof mascara! Phewwww! Of course, before the slide show started we were able to make it for the last two songs at prom...my mom walked in behind everyone else in the family only to find Grandmama out of the dance floor with Sarah, Sue and Phil dancing up a storm!We all eventually joined in! It was awesome!
Then Sarah and Phil headed out for a few more hours of fun in the limo and for dessert while my mom, Ed, and I headed back to the hotel for some wine and listening to ducks quack. QQUUUAACK!
Today (yesterday..ha!)..SUNDAY was the biggest day. Graduation!!! The morning was a struggle for everyone I think...we were all exhausted from the night before, but eventually we were all up and at 'em. We headed to breakfast only to learn that Sarah was not feeling too swell. Good thing my mom had planned everything early because Sarah had to deal with a few set backs that morning. As my mom delicately took Sarah to the school hoping to avoid anymore of an upset stomach, Ed and I chucked all the crap in the the euro van and went on a hunt for coffee. We were successful! Wahoo. Sarah and I had had a mini argument earlier about how she headed to look a little nicer for graduation...it was an uphill battle. I lost...or so I thought I did. Being the smart sister that I was I tossed all her make up, extra hair stuff, and jewelry into my purse and made my way down to where I knew the seniors were getting ready. As I was walking in Phil was walking around looking for me, he said Sarah needed me...at that time all I could think was 'oh great she probably puked again'...with the combined efforts of a caring sister and a loving boyfriend we were soon able to convince Sarah that she needed a little help with her appearance for such a big day of her life. One ginger ale and a granola bar later she was feeling tip-top, as well as looking fabulous too! It is amazing what nerves can do...
Sarah and Elizabeth, her classmate.
Sarah and Taylor.
Mr. Veil, Sarah and Phil.
Phil and Sarah. The cutest couple ever. I love seeing such love between two people..especially when it involves my sister!
Sarah and Mista' Chase.
The ceremony was amazing. I think everyone in the room cried their eyes out. They did the ceremony with the students that were graduating from the GROW program as well. They really did a fantastic job of really tailoring the ceremony to each students achievements. Everyone was recognized for all the great things that had done during their time at Riverview. The head of the school made several great speeches, I loved listening to what she had to say -- a very fresh perspective on life. Sarah was the sports maniac...gosh, she sure did do everything! Track, skiing, swimming, basketball, softball, riding, etc! She didn't waste anytime while she was there...little ms. busy body. Sarah sure was nervous before she was called up on stage to be recognized, I kept on trying to get her to smile! Emotions were running wild for all of us. I don't know any one else that deserved today more than Sarah. I cannot even express how proud of her I am. I have a little sister now who is one of the most beautiful people inside and out because of her experiences at Riverview. I love her to death, and I am so happy that she was able to be in an environment that so graciously rewarded her. As a sister I cannot even start to explain the happiness that I have for her achievement, this is huge!! WAY TO GO SARAH!
Sarah's graduating class (the green and white)
Sarah being recognized for all of her achievements at Riverview.
BYE BYE RIVERVIEW!
We packed, organized and hit the road as soon as we could after graduation was over. We made it back to New York around 9ish. We are all exhausted! The drive was easy except for the rainstorm that we were stuck in at one point! Yikes! Sarah digs the new house...she is headed to the beach at the end of the week with some of the family and then she is jetting down to Florida to see Phil! They are going to have a GREAT time! <3
I don't want to leave. The closer and closer tomorrow gets I am dreading leaving. I am so happy here. This next week is going to be rough. Who knows, maybe I will decide that being back here for the summer might be the best thing for me after all.
Well, I need to hit the hay!
MUCH LOVE & CONGRATULATIONS RIVERVIEW CLASS OF 2010!