On Sunday, Gracie had her ballet recital. She has two helpers for ballet, N and A. They are physical therapy students at a local university (which happens to be my alma mater). N and A switch off weeks helping Gracie during ballet, and both have grown to love her.
A few weeks ago, N approached me before ballet class. N said she wanted to do something special for Gracie for the recital. I told her that anything she got for Gracie would be special because it would come from her. Then, N asked me for suggestions. I said Gracie likes dolls, Frozen, Hello Kitty, and anything girly. After speaking to her for a while, though, N seemed to realize I wasn’t understanding what she was saying.
N told me that she had been speaking to her fellow PT students about Gracie, and they wanted to do something really special for her. She said they were going to do some fundraising and would like ideas of things that would be very special for Grace, like things she could attend or even trips she could take. So basically, the PT students were being Gracie’s “Make a Wish” committee.
Chad and I were both humbled and overwhelmed by N’s generous offer. For a few days, I considered declining the invitation, but decided it wasn’t my place to do so. Gracie is the one living this life. Gracie is the one having all these hardships (that she doesn’t recognize as such). Gracie is the one who can’t even get through a ballet class without someone helping her (sensory ataxia is real, folks). Gracie deserves something special to happen to her. I emailed a list of ideas to N, from small (stuffed dolls) to very large (a trip to Camp Painless but Hopeful — Chad’s suggestion).
N was Gracie’s helper during the recital, but A and another PT student also attended to watch Gracie’s big performance. After it was over, N and A and the other student gave Gracie several gifts — stuffed Anna and Elsa dolls, a Frozen book, a Frozen water bottle, and a beautiful bouquet of multi-colored flowers. Gracie was so happy. She didn’t let go of Anna and Elsa all night, and spends a great deal of time each day playing with her new friends. She made sure I put the flowers in water right away when we got home, and demanded I wash her new water bottle so she could use it. She has “read” the book quite a few times, too. She loves all her special gifts. She will get one more gift from the class — they are going to send her to Frozen on Ice in December. December is a long ways away for a little girl, but I know she’ll absolutely love the performance when the time comes.
We are so grateful to these girls for making Gracie so happy. Gracie deserves all happiness. She charmed these girls with her super power — making everyone fall in love with her — and they generously showered her with gifts and affection. Gracie has this effect on people. Everyone loves her, and everyone wants to do great things for her. She is, after all, Amazing Gracie.