Many times, we find this journey to be bittersweet. Sorrow and joy flow together. More often, there is joy, delight and gratitude - a sweetness to savour. The graduation ceremony for the grade 8 students at Baden Public School was a wonderful celebration on Friday evening. Lydia was able to walk across the stage, and receive her diploma. The audience spontaneously clapped and cheered as she did so, even though we were saving our applause for the end, due to the number of students graduating. How beautiful to be cheered on by this community that has journeyed deeply with us.
Lydia gave a speech at her graduation ceremony, sharing some of the lessons she has learned this past year. She wrote it herself, and practiced it a lot at home, and with her speech language pathologist. The standing ovation she received tugged at our hearts. I have been told by many, "there wasn't a dry eye in the audience". It was powerful. Here is a link to her speech.
I will post her speech in printed form in a separate blog, for those who would rather read it.
In the car, after graduation, Lydia asked me, "Do you think I would have received an award if I had not been hit?" Her mind had wandered the same path that ours had during the ceremony. How might her grade 8 graduation have looked if this unasked for incident had not entered our lives last year?
We pray regularly to be kept in the present - to not dream a different future, or cling to the past, but to be thankful for each day, and praise the Lord for it. In Lydia's grade 8 homeroom graduation book, she shared her favourite quote: Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
He is faithful. We entrust our hearts to Him, who gently holds us.
Over the summer, Lydia will have some time off, but will continue with therapy and school. She is keen to keep pressing on: to regain, relearn, and in some cases, learn for the first time. She wants to catch up to her peers. While we have been told that she will have lifelong implications to her injuries, we have not shared this with Lydia. She is determined, and she keeps working hard.
In September, Lydia will go to high school with a new member of her team, an educational rehab specialist. She will attend some classes with her new teacher, as well as receiving individual instruction in other subject areas. Therapy will continue, sometimes at the school, sometimes at the therapists clinics. We are so thankful for the progress Lydia has made, that permit her to renter school already. Our educational rehab specialist has told us that often she does not become a part of the treatment team until 2 or 3 years post injury, in cases where the severity of the brain injury was as traumatic as Lydia's. We praise God for his healing work in Lydia. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
We also thank you for your continued prayers. We are so touched to have people we don't know approach us and tell us they have been praying for Lydia. Thank you.