Sunday, March 11, 2012

Last Gala

  all ready typed and cross matched hence the hospital bracelet
Last night was the kids' annual fund raising gala.  It really is quite the posh event and I believe they still hold the record for being the largest funds generating gala in the city.  We have a number of organizations that hold them and it is now the season.

Ailish participated in the choir performance.  Last year was her second year doing it.  It was imperative to me that she be included even though she was nonverbal and obviously didn't sing.  Everything at this time had a weight about them.  I truly believe I had a foreboding about the spinal surgery (though it didn't stop me from signing consents!).  Christmas 2010 was more important, her eleventh birthday and this gala.  I took pictures of each event with an almost psychotic fervour. This could be the last opportunity to take pictures like these I thought to myself.

I went solo to the gala last year and had I known the anxiety I would be feeling with surgery being a week a way and fearing that every last moment had to be captured I would have sprung for a friend's ticket just for the company.  I knew people there but only as acquaintances, as parents of my kids friends but no on one I really knew at my table.

Each year they play a video of the students from all the different school locations.  There is a main centre and then satellite schools through out the city.  It has always amazed me that with a twenty year history of sending kids to this school with nine of my kids having attended that none of my kids short of a hint of them in the background has ever made the video let alone been profiled.  It's not a complaint I have but just what I think is an interesting tid bit.  The school has been nothing but great to us.  Last year however I wanted Ailish immortalized by being in the video.  I watched, I hoped but nope twas not to be again.  Just relaying this story here I can feel the anxiety bubbling in me.  It was not the same experience I had most years of my attendance.

Where the big money is made at this event is in the silent and live auctions.  They have outstanding items donated and each classroom is responsible for making up a themed basket.  The staff do an excellent job.  That night was no exception.  As I made my way around the displays I ran into teachers and assistants both current and who had Ailish as a student in years passed.  Normally I am not a huge sharer of information or my stressors (in person that is!) to those outside my immediate circle.  I unabashedly told almost everyone of Ailish's up and coming big day and my fears around it.  They all wished us well of course and offered reassurances that all would turn out great.  The reality was that everyone knew the twisted shape Ailsh's spine was becoming.  I used to say she was spelling with her body "look the letter c" I would say.  Because they all knew as did I that things were only going to get worse surgery seemed the logical thing to do.  They loved Ailish and did not like to see her uncomfortable any more than I did.

Ailish was on fire at the gala.  She was grinning from ear to ear the whole time and laughing too.  Ailish was a pretty responsive kid but this was above and beyond.  She was dressed to the nines in the required colours of black and white.  What no one knew was that the dress she was wearing that I had purchased months before specifically for this night was pinned up the back!  The gal darn zipper got stuck and then broke.  There was no way she was not going to wear this dress!  I loved it and she looked gorgeous in it.  We made do and no one was the wiser (except for the person who took her in and out of her coat I would assume...).

The choir sang beautifully.  Donovan was also in the choir and he too did a great job and looked spectacularly handsome as well.

Donovan adored Ailish. He loved to nuzzled her
and give her sweet little kisses.
what a handsome couple!

 It really was a magical night where Ailish was concerned.  It warmed my heart to see her so so happy and filled with an inner light that really shined brightly on what would be her final school function.

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