I know you go before me, and I am not alone.
This mountain rises higher, the way seems so unclear.
But I know that You go with me, so I will never fear...
I will trust in You." (Sidewalk Prophets-We Won't Be Shaken)
This song has been an absolute "rock" to Jacoby and our family from the very beginning. I remember it playing on the radio during some of the darkest moments of our lives. Somehow, the song only becomes more dear, more relevant, more comforting as each year passes. Jacoby's senior year was no different.
We blinked. High school graduation gowns and tassels were tucked away for safe keeping in memory boxes...for a long winter's nap.
Jacoby, WE DID IT!
Another life chapter has been closed. Thankfully, a brand new one is right at it's heels.
Just like so many of you, this past year has been poked full of " a little bit of everything". Heartbreaking, breath-taking and pain-staking moments. But looking at the "big picture", we couldn't have asked for a better senior year for Jacoby.
If I'm being honest, her senior year was the one I was most concerned about. I had many " Momma Concerns". Such as:
Would Jacoby get sick and not get to finish her Senior year?
Would Jacoby get asked to Senior prom?
Would she go, even if she wasn't asked?
Would her teachers ever understand how much she adored them?
Or how hard she worked to complete everything on her own?
Would Jacoby have a sense of completion and peace at Graduation?... Would I?
God works in strange and mysterious ways. You see, He didn't just give Jacoby what she needed, He gave her what she wanted, too.
God is good ALL the time; all the time...God is good.
(Glad I am typing this.... because speaking while crying is hard to do.)
Here are some of the most precious highlights of Jacoby's Senior year:
How could we forget Senior Prom? Jacoby wanted to have the "perfect" dress (doesn't every girl), so she had it custom made so all measurements would be correct.
Those of you who are wheelchair bound, know how hard it is to find dresses long enough. Sitting requires different measurements. But Jacoby was "on it", so we didn't worry.
Being the "Miles" parents we are, we waited until the very last minute to try the dress on. We figured it was custom made....what's the worry? Relax, Jacoby.
Well... Long story short, the dress didn't fit ANYWHERE. Now, it's time to panic!
We literally were making desperate calls the day before prom to get the dress altered. We were able to get an appointment the morning OF Prom. Yes... I was tempted to have a large glass of wine at 9:00am.
Poor Jason! He had to deal with Jacoby AND her mother.
But, once the dress was altered, hair and make up were done...it was truly magical. She had an AMAZING date and was able to share the experience with a group of friends, which included her twin brother, Kaleb.
FYI, Mothers tuck these kind of precious moments away in their hearts forever...
END OF THE YEAR SENIOR AWARDS
We had absolutely NO CLUE how amazing that night would be for not only Jacoby, but Kaleb as well.
Kaleb had been out hiking all day, and came in 15 min before the awards ceremony was to start. He was covered in dirt, but said he would just go brush through his hair. After all, he and Jacoby would just be receiving a piece of paper saying, " Great Job with your grades, right?" (This is where children need their mother to encourage bathing.) Which I did. He thanked me later.
That night I saw Jacoby and Kaleb as adults for the first time. They were receiving awards for much more than just keeping a certain GPA; they were receiving awards for their character, integrity and work ethic.
Jason and I were SO happy for them... SO proud of them. We had always taught the kids that hard work and dedication pays off in the end. It payed off sooner than we had expected and we were thrilled to be a part of watching it happen.
We decided that night, we hadn't COMPLETELY ruined them, like we believed so many times we had.
Now this was a day we will never forget.
Rain was in the forecast...like 100% chance of rain. Their graduation was being held outside at the fairgrounds.
Mmm..Rain and quadriplegics don't mix well. It's one thing to accidentally find yourself in wet weather, but to place yourself in the rain...sitting in one spot was a different story.
As all the graduates walked in to Pompous Circumstance, all time seemed to stand still. Every parent and family member was searching for their beloved graduate. It chokes me up even now to write about it.
Kaleb and Jacoby came in and sat together. I knew Kaleb would be there to help her with anything she needed.
About this time, the rain started to pour. Ponchos were being handed out to all the graduates. My heart was sick. She just couldn't stay sitting in the rain for an hour. She would get chilled and not be able to enjoy the rest of her day. I watched as Kaleb put her poncho on and then took part of his own for her feet.
This...this right here...is what I was going to miss. These two children had been so good to Jason and I. They had been so good to each other. My heart ached that they would soon be apart.
As the rain continued to fall, "Momma Panic" set in. I was praying and I knew many others in the crowd were praying for her too.
Jacoby was drenched and was going to freeze. My brother handed me a rain blanket they had brought and I raced down to hand it to the gentleman standing at the front of the graduates.
But...as you all probably guessed, Jacoby saw me standing with the blanket. Her poncho was wet against her face , but she just smiled and shook her head no.
I knew that look. I knew that face. There was no use to argue. This was the same determination that she used on a daily basis to rise above her struggles.
Tears poured down my face as I turned to walk back up to my warm, covered seating. I was proud of that girl...so incredibly proud.
If you're wondering if the rain stopped, of course it did. Just in time for pictures with family and friends. Murphy's Law every time.
But, it was a beautiful day. Not because of the weather, but because these two graduates were beautiful people...inside and out. As were their friends sitting around them.
A beautiful journey... A beautiful struggle...beautiful lives.
POST GRADUATION ....
Crying is what I do best these days. Especially, when I talk about children growing up. So many of you are going through the same thing, or have before. So I know I'm in good company.
We started this blog almost 4 years ago ....on the night of November 16, 2012.
Never in my wildest dreams did we imagine so much good could come from so much pain.
There truly are no words that even come close to expressing everything we've seen, felt and learned.
We would never wish this experience on anyone, or want to re-live it, but we would never take it back.
We have come too far..we have changed too much.
We had always told Jacoby that after she graduated from high school, she would need to decide if she wanted to keep up the blog or just refer people to her social media. Hello... She's 18...it's lookin like social media wins again. Surprise..surprise.
Jacoby would love to have you follow her on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. She is amazing at keeping everyone up to date on what's going on in her life. This is not a goodbye, just a change in communication.
Thank you...thank you...thank you...thank you... Thank you!
We love you all MORE THAN WORDS COULD EVER EXPRESS and look forward to sharing the years ahead together with you.
What would we have done without all of you in this journey? What would any of us do without the support of other human beings?
" NOW TO HIM WHO IS ABLE TO DO FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY BEYOND ALL THAT WE ASK OR IMAGINE, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS WITHIN US." EPHESIAN 3:21