Sunday, June 01, 2008

Salutation, Valediction

On Friday evening, before the ceremony, La Luz and I headed to ASH to see Kelsea all dressed up and ready to graduate. Kelsea, very thoughtfully, suggested that it would be nice to get a picture by the fountain - Kelsea's last year at ASH and La Luz's first. I always feel nostalgic when I see the courtyard covered in candles and white flowers. There are the same rickety, rusting chairs from 17 years ago (at least) lined up along the patches of grass, filled with family members gushing with pride. The same songs are sung over the same buzzing and screeching p.a. system. The white dresses and white gloves and girls with flowers in their hair are always smiling or crying or both. Many years and countless graduations later, I haven't encountered a ceremony as beautiful as ASH's graduation, and I doubt I ever will. On Friday night, as I stood in the center of it all, I remembered, for a minute, the way that I felt on my graduation day - the incredible sense of liberation coupled with the absolute fear of knowing that I had no idea what was ahead. I know for sure that at that time I didn't suspect ASH would be such an integral part of my life and now I cannot imagine it being any other way.

La Luz, waiting for Princess Kelsea:

La Luz with Daddy, fountain-side:

La Luz and Kelsea, oh so sweet:

Kelsea wore the loveliest graduation dress I have ever seen. It was entirely unique and absolutely gorgeous, so it stands to reason that her mother made it.

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