6/17/14

The Graduate


My big girl graduated high school on Friday. So I am officially old. As you may already know, it has not been a easy road. She has epilepsy (currently about one seizure a week), autism, learning disabilities. Until sometime in January she also had what we thought were chronic migraines. Turns out they were side effects of Oxycarbazepine. (I mention the drug because I want everyone to know that it can cause symptoms that look a lot like atypical migraines and if that is happening to you or someone you know you should get the hell off that drug ASAP and not lose five years of your precious life.)


But that's not what this post is about so let's not dwell on that. Instead, let us raise a glass to the girl, who has endured more than most people ever will and who has--except for when the goddam Depakote reduced all her blood count levels and the doctors thought she might have Leukemia--started off every day with a smile. 


She is blessed with a sunny disposition and with fortitude. I would love to take credit for those things, but those are all her. She is a skinny slip off a thing. The evil Topamax made her stop eating for a while. That was at the same time as the evil Depakote so it was all a bit of mess for a while. But she has decided once again that she likes brownies so I think all cause for alarm at her declining weight can cease and desist.

The thing I hate more than anything is when people pity her (or us) or feel sorry for us. Because if you pity or feel sorry for her (or us) you aren't really seeing her (or us). You are only seeing what you're afraid of. She is not your cautionary tale. She is not the inspirational story that helps you appreciate how good you have things. She is not about you. She is not even about me (although that one is harder for me to acknowledge). She is about her. And she is remarkable. She has much to offer and she will accomplish much.




21 comments:

Desiree said...

She looks gorgeously radiant, congratulations!!!

GLONG said...

She is courage, she is hope, she is amazing!! Felicidades!!!!!

altadenahiker said...

I've only met Elizabeth twice; once at the Bacon fest and another time when we were knitting. Uh, "knitting."

And each time she said something so perspicacious, that it rather took my breath away. And I thought -- Oh yeah -- tree, apple, not far from, sure, that's how it works.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Oh this is awesome, Margaret! Big congratulations to your amazing girl, and best wishes for a great future! xo

Steve S said...

Perhaps a new goddess for volume 2 of the book. Congratulations to the new graduate. And to her wonderful family. How proud we all are.

Kim Ohanneson/Ms. Go Go said...

Big congratulations to the beautiful Elizabeth and love and huzzahs to all! What is she doing in the photo where she's at the mic? Speech? Poem? Teacher thank yous? xo

Bellis said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth! She's very beautiful.

Cathy Perlmutter said...

If this were about me, I'd note that I am crying.
I am so glad to learn that those weren't migraines. OMG.
It is, however, about you being the perfect mother for this child. You let her be her.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

It is about you too - how fierce a fighter you are for her. She's gorgeous. Reminds me of Audrey Hepburn but with your smile. Congratulations. Good job parents.

Daisy said...

Congratulations Elizabeth! Sorry your mom feels "old"! You both actually look radiant to me.

All that's best on your next steps in life.

Ms M said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth! Wonderful photos, such a beautiful smile.
Best wishes for the future (and may it be free of nasty drugs that have horrible side effects)

Star said...

Yeah! Big, big, big congratulations!

Shanna said...

What a beautiful,radiant girl! Congratulations to her !

Rois said...

I don't know what to be happiest about,the migraines being gone,that she is doing better or the graduation. Boy,do I know from my Issac's trails how over the moon wonderful all three of those are.

Congratulations Miss Elizabeth!


Can I add a drug that triggers migraines? Chemo,the doctors will tell you it doesn't but that is a bold face lie.

Alison said...

Congratulations to your awesome daughter....and to her awesome mum!
Alison xx

Susan C said...

Yes, she is indeed radiant! Congratulations to you both.

Olga Hebert said...

Well done. Congratulations on this important milestone and wishes for a bright way forward.

Karen said...

Terrific stuff, and congrats to both of you.

Petrea Burchard said...

You go, Elizabeth. Rock that dress. And thank you both for sharing.

Bec said...

Beautiful smile . . . congratulations!

Ann Erdman said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth -- and you! -- on this wonderful rite of passage.