By Megan Sorensen, Mother to Carly, born with Spina Bifida
I have a senior. ALHS Class of 2020.
I watch post after post of students and parents lamenting this sudden loss of the end of their senior year. Prom, spring sports, awards banquets, graduation. It’s sad and sudden and it sucks. It really does.
However, it’s different for me.
I’m just a little sad. I’m a smidge disappointed. What I am a lot of is relieved. I’m sorry. But that’s the truth.
When Carly was born we had no idea what her future held. I remember thinking “if she can just graduate from high school.” She will, and she did it. Regardless of pomp and circumstance.
But it hasn’t been easy and it isn’t the same. Proms, award nights and coronations are vivid reminders of her differences. The photos and the posts are like salt in a wound that never quite heals. I tune them out and focus on the good. I grieve for what she misses and am thankful for what she has.
So forgive me if I’m relieved. It’s one less reminder and it’s the ability to celebrate on her terms. Nothing to compare her to. Just the moment we prayed would come the day she was born. And it did. Regardless of circumstance, it came and it is amazing.
I deeply feel the grief that the loss of these milestones brings others because I have lived that grief with every posted prom date picture and every friend group photo that she doesn’t have. Because I know that grief so intimately I know how it ends…with joy in celebration of what is possible.
Congratulations class of 2020. Trust me when I say these missed moments will not define you. You’ll be just fine.