I have been so busy….I finally have time to stop and think about the past few weeks. This first post will be about Korie’s graduation. WOW!!! When I stop and think about it, I barely know where to begin.
It all started with the Senior Breakfast of the Disability Department. I showed up at Menchville at 8am all groggy-eyed and wishing I could have slept in. I found the correct lunchroom, found Korie, said hello to some parents I know and settled in a seat at the table with Mrs. Russell, Korie’s teacher, and another one of Korie’s classmates and her mother.
After a breakfast of bagels and chicken salad, a small program began. A boy who could really sing sang a song that made me cry. The principal, Mr. Surry, and the four vice principals made speeches. Each teacher got up and talked about their senior(s) as they gave out certificates. Korie’s teacher was first and talked of Korie’s love of NASCAR and their banter back and forth between their favorite drivers. She was proud of Korie’s work and they hugged and then I listened to the others.
What I noticed was the playful and affectionate relationships between all the teachers and the students they each taught or were responsible for (not all of them were in inclusive classes like Korie was). The principals had positive and clear influences on the students, calling them by name, laughing with them and showing how much they were going to be missed. I don’t know why it surprised me but I wish I had attended one of these before we came to MHS. I would have been more eager for her to take her place here.
And taking her place at Menchville is something that Korie did on her own. Of course, Steve and I have influence over her. We certainly talk to her about how to act properly, respect those in authority and how to care for people. But the kind of relationship she has with Mr. Surry, the principal, two of the Vice Principals, the ladies in the office and the security people, we did not teach her that. We did not tell them to fall in love with her and to tear up as they said goodbye at graduation the following weekend. We didn’t ask Mr. Surry to hug her and we had no idea that he would go find her when he had a bad day because “she always had a way of cheering him up”. We didn’t know that Vice President Edward’s heart would melt as she went by the office window and beckoned him with her finger to come and give her a daily hug. We didn’t tell her to call the security guards her “buddies”, which brought a huge smile to their faces and helped form a special bond as they watched over her every day and a sadness to their eyes because she was saying goodbye soon. And we had no ideas that the ladies in the office missed her if she didn’t go by and say hello each day.
I saw all this during the past month at the Breakfast, at her Spring Concert when she got the “Shining Star Award” from her teacher and chorus class because “if you meet Korie in the hallway, she always make sure you are having a good day”, and at graduation practice and of course, during graduation.
You see, at graduation, everyone was told to only “politely clap” when names are called. And most everyone followed that rule. But when Korie’s name was called….after she hugged her principal and gave an arm pump when she got her diploma, a few people called out her name. Then people started clapping…then many people called out her name and people stood up and the applause grew. I could only watch in tears and in awe as it dawned on me what was happening. Yes, it was all Korie. She certainly took her place where God had placed her. There’s a song I sing to her at nights…and when she was a baby and as she grew up, I didn’t know that these words would come true and that I would realize it on June 7, 2014, as I watched her cross the stage and people showed their appreciation of her life…..
And now you’re growing up
Your life’s a miracle
Every time I look at you…I stand in awe….
And I’m so proud of you
What else is there to say…
just be the masterpiece He’s created you to be.
I AM proud of her. You go, baby! Take your new place in the world! I know you will do it well.