Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hold Fast To Dreams...

I woke up early Thursday morning and was starving, so as soon as I got out of the shower and dressed I was ready to head downstairs for breakfast. I waited until 8:15, went across the hall and knocked on Rubye's door - no answer. I went back in my room, waited until 8:30, knocked on the door again - still no answer. I knew they stopped serving breakfast at 9, so I sent Rubye a text message telling her that I would be in the breakfast room. They had cereal, waffles, muffins, pastries, bacon, eggs, yogurt, juice, coffee, tea,,, this would work! I grabbed a muffin, scooped up some scrambled eggs, picked out a peach yogurt, poured some orange juice, and found a table. I went back for some coffee and mixed a packet of hot chocolate mix in it - not a Starbucks mocha by any means, but it would do.

I sat down and a young man joined me, since the tables were filling up fast. He was from San Francisco, and we had a nice conversation. I finished my food, and since it was 8:45, thought I should go searching for Rubye. I found her, and we discussed our plans for getting to the graduation that afternoon while she ate. We decided to leave around noon for the University of Denver. I had to go to the bank to withdraw some money for Kamaria's graduation gift, and we went back to our rooms to get ready.

We left at noon - I had the directions on my phone and we managed to find the Ritchie Center without too much trouble, but we knew parking would be a challenge - there were cars everywhere! We came upon a parking garage that said full, but Rubye batted her eyelashes at the attendant, told him we had come all the way from Washington for our granddaughters graduation, and he let us in. Whew! We wound our way up to one of the upper levels and found a spot, but we were early - it was only 1:00 and the doors didn't open until 3:15, so we decided to grab a bite to eat. We found Pete's Cafe, which specialized in Greek food.

 It sounded good to me! I had the California Chicken Salad, and Rubye and I talked and talked.  Soon it was time to head to the Ritchie Center...

We followed the crowd and got in line, our tickets in hand. We knew what section Kamaria would be sitting in, so we had planned to sit in a section right behind her, but people were saving seats and we couldn't find anything in that section, so moved to the next one over and Rubye grabbed two for us. Before long, I looked over and saw Rachel, Ivan and the girls climbing the stairs to seats just a few feet from us. I knew they could see us, but didn't acknowledge the fact that we were there. At one point, I saw little Bailey looking at me, and I couldn't imagine what she must be thinking. There was her Grandma, but she couldn't smile, wave, or say anything to me, just because I had brought Rubye along. I decided to focus on the ceremony and not allow myself to be upset. I knew that Kamaria was fine with things, and that was what mattered.

 I tried to get some good shots of the students filing in, but they didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I can only identify Kamaria by her shoes!

the high wedge white shoes...two in front of the boy on crutches...

finding her seat...

waiting for her name to be called...

 She told us later that her main fear when walking up to get her diploma was falling down off those shoes! Soon we heard her name...Kamaria Devine Hampton... and she was being handed her diploma.

What a proud moment! We went out behind the arena where we were to meet with the graduates for pictures and congratulations. We found our girl with a huge smile on her face!

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.  
                                                                                           - Langston Hughes 

The plan was that Rubye and I would meet with her first, and when we were finished, Rachel, Ivan and the girls would come down.

Kamaria met up with her friends, who seemed overjoyed to meet us. I was thrilled to hear her introduce us as "These are my Grandmas." I was so happy that Rubye was with me to share this special day!

We got to meet Shelly, Lindsey's Mom. What a lovely lady! We thanked her for taking care of our girl, but words didn't seem adequate to convey the gratitude we felt towards her. Kamaria is fortunate to have such a wonderful friend with amazing parents.

We left Kamaria so that Rachel and Ivan could have their turn and made our way back to the parking garage, which was extremely congested with everyone trying to get out. We decided to wait it out - I sat in the car and looked up directions back to the hotel on my phone, while Rubye stood outside and had a cigarette. Soon I heard her say, "here comes your family." I looked out the window and saw Rachel, Ivan and the girls walk right on by... not so much as a nod in my direction. Kamaria did stop and talk to Rubye, but had to catch up with them. They were taking her out to dinner. I was devastated. I couldn't believe that Rachel could be so insensitive! I had to keep telling myself that she had her reasons, and that I was blessed to have been able to be there.

Rubye and I stopped at a King Soopers on the way home and got some chicken salad from the Deli, and went back to the hotel. In spite of Rachel's snub, it had been a marvelous day!

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