Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sr's 92-HOMECOMING QUEEN (part 2) [edited]


PLANNING AND GETTING READY FOR THE BIG DAY
I had major outpouring of love and gifts during this time.


I have to admit I loved the attention, but still had a hard time justifying that reason that I got Queen. There was no time for justifying because I had a dress to find, an acceptance speech to write, and many more things to do and we did not have much time to do them in. Homecoming was about three weeks away. There were two attendants for each class (Seniors, Juniors, Sophmores, and Freshman), and it was my responsibility to tell them what to wear and how to fix their hair. Bubba was responsible for the guys. This must be what it is like to be a bride was what I thought (and I am still guessing on that one)! I had been good friends with one of the senior attendants, Kristy, and so I let her decide what kind of dress they should wear. After she picked out the pattern I had a meeting with all the gals and their moms. I told them I wanted this day to be as special for them as it was going to be for me. That I wanted them to do what they wanted with their hair, shoes, and jewelry decisions. On the same day that Kristy picked out the pattern for the attendant dresses I picked out my pattern for my dress. My aunt (moms sis-in-law) was going to make it, and so she was with us too. I visited with my hairdresser on a couple of different hairstyles we were thinking of doing. She wanted to do a hairstyle kind of like one that Julia Roberts wore in the movie “Steel Magnolias” for her wedding. Due to my hair being so fine it does not hold curl very well so she decided to do a trial run. She rolled it in rags! Where she learned this I will never know, but we were in Oklahoma, YEEHAW! It would have the shape of Nellie's hair on the Little House and the Prairie. When my mom took out "the rags" (that is exactly what they look like too) from a night of sleeping on them she had to struggle. When they were all out my hair it was in such tight ringlets that I could not even brush my hair. I had to wash it out to put a comb through it! It was funny. Needless to say we decided to use a curling iron and a bunch of maximum hold hairspray!! As I was at the hairdresser's she was telling me about the homecoming process at her daughters high school, and that they had to buy and wear their dresses before they found out who won. She said one of the girls had a very expensive and beautiful wedding gown. She did not win and never really got to wear the dress. She said she would have her daughter talk to the girl about borrowing it for a backup in case my aunts dress doesn't work. I was like okay, but I did not feel anything would go wrong with my aunts dress. My hairdresser had a nail technician in her shop, and set up an appointment for me to get my nails done before the bonfire the day before homecoming. The speech I wrote was short but sweet. During school we would have run throughs of the assembly, and of the half time show of the football game that night. On one occasion Bubba was helping me to walk by letting me hold onto him (he was not used to helping me walk). My knees gave out on me (this happened a lot), and I fell. I did not hurt myself but it scared Bubba pretty bad. He went over to Kristy and told her what happened and that he will never help again. He thought he was doing something wrong. Kristi set him straight and told him not to worry about it that it has happened with everyone who has helped her. The day before homecoming one of the local newspapers came to write a story on me being homecoming queen despite my physical disability. I felt all-important! After school I went to get my nails done. They were painted red and were long and pretty. Bubbas mom and little sis used my hairdresser too (Keeta was her name, and her shop was used by bunches in our area.) Bubbas mom told me that he is most nervous about dropping me at the dance (We were supposed to dance the first slow song together). I was surprised he mentioned that to be his most nervous moment. While we were there we picked up the backup dress.



Off we went to the bonfire. It was big and warm. Of course, we brought wire hangers and marshmallows! Loud cheers and clapping made the atmosphere.




Another local newspaper had come to interview me and Bubba. I was getting tons of attention because of this. I did catch some flack from being homecoming queen from the other students. I heard a few rumors that came from a couple of girls that I called friends, HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA!  One of the rumors was that I was giving one of the girls who was nominated dirty and snobby looks in the hall. So I called the girl (I considered us friends even though we did not hang out a lot or anything, but I had her number) to make sure this wasn't what she thought. She told me that we were cool and that she never thought those things. I told her who started spreading them. I guess she spoke to them. One of the girls came up to me at the bonfire to apologize. What jealous girls. There were a few other things that were brought to my attention. I tried to eliminate the rumors before they got out of hand. Other remarks I would just overlook. For the most part it was all good! After the bonfire my mom and I went to my aunts house to get the dress and try it on. For some reason it was not working though. My aunt kept going back upstairs to her sewing machine. The shoulder straps weren't hanging right. It was 11 p.m., and I was getting sleepy. We were all getting frustrated, but I am sure my aunt was the most frustrated. She makes clothes all the time. My mom went and got the backup dress out of her car. I tried it on, and it fit like a glove! It was beautiful with big ruffles going down the back. Everything happens for a reason! I was sad that my aunts dress didn’t work, but so glad at that moment we had the backup. Felt it was meant to be. I never did get to meet the generous young lady who let me borrow her dress.

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S
Next post: THE BIG DAY IS HERE!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sr's 92- 10/4/91 HOMECOMING QUEEN (part 1)

THE VOTING PROCESS
About 130 seniors piled into the auditorium for the first senior meeting of our school year in September. Everyone sat with their own little clich├ęs. It was the band geeks (as they were called), the popular crowd (cheerleaders, football players and other jocks), the head banging crowd (the rockers who would smoke, drink, possibly do drugs, party all night and sleep all day), and the loners (who would set by themselves but would always do anything just so they could fit in). I felt like John Hughes was going to walk in at any moment to direct "The Breakfast Club: Part Two"! I did not really fall under any category for a certain clique. I made my way through everyone and did not dislike any one person (for the most part). I felt like some were just misunderstood, and I knew all too well what that felt like. That was my group. The purpose of the meeting was to nominate the years King and Queen. It was a very big deal, because it would mean that you would reign over the school for that year. The day is celebrated with a coronation assembly, a reception, pictures out of a studio, crowning at the homecoming football game, and a dance. Each senior wrote on a piece of paper the name of a gal and a guy senior who they thought would represent the class and school well. As we were doing this I thought I could hear whispers of my name. I thought I was hearing things, because I never even thought I stood a chance of this. Later that day on the intercom the vice principal called out names of the top 10 guys and gals who made it, and asked that they report to the Library. I was in complete shock when I heard my name. At that time my class was office help answering the main switchboard. There was one other student in this class with me,Waco, and he was nominated as the King. He was a very good friend to me. So off we went to the library together. On our way he asked me what I thought about being nominated. I told him I was going to drop out, and that this was a big joke. We quit walking, and he told me he was not going to let that happen because I had more friends than I know. He sat by me the whole time we were in the library to in sure that I did not raise my hand to quit. My thought at that time was “Okay, I can do this, because next the seniors will vote again for top five and there is no chance that I will get that." After the seniors voted again I made the top five. I got very nervous at this time. I did not consider myself popular enough, pretty enough, not to mention my physical problems. I just did not fit the mold. After the top five from the seniors were voted on it went to an all school vote. All of the nominees were introduced at a pep rally held in the football stadium the day before the first game that night. We had to stand in front of the student body. I remember walking out with one of the other nominees. I had white Reebok high tops on (I had a white and a black pair, and I wore them constantly. They were the most supportive shoe for me walking), a pair of jeans, and my class of 92 royal blue jersey shirt with my name on the back. Hoping I did not embarrass myself by tripping over my two left feet! I did it, I just stood there holding onto my friend and waving as they said my name. I surprised myself by not dropping out before the pep rally. My thought at this time was "okay, I can do this, because now it goes to an all school vote and there is no chance I will get that." They will have five people to vote from but only three will make it. One Queen and two attendants. I am for sure sweating buckets on the day everyone votes! The decision was in, and we were called in to a classroom that was not being used at the moment. First, they had to keep us gals in suspense by telling the guys who got it. My friend Bubba got King! Don't laugh, everyone from the south has a friend or relative named Bubba. Am I right or am I right? Bubba was who I voted for. He was (and still is) an extremely nice (looking) gentleman, and a friend of mine since kindergarten! He was one of the stars of the football team, and fit the mold for being our King. I was happy for him. Then they announced the gals. Of course, they mentioned the attendants first. My name was not one of them. I let out a sigh of relief thinking that I was not getting anything. The other two gals who were not named either were very deserving of the title. So I figured one of them would get it, and that I would have been happy just to be nominated! Then they mentioned my name as the homecoming queen. I was in shock, and thinking there should be a recount or something! Maybe my ears needed cleaning for I thought they said my name! I was looking around surveying the room to see what the reactions on the other faces. Nobody looked pissed off, and some were congratulating me. Tears started rolling down my face. I could not believe it and was waiting to wake-up from this dream.

 The first thing I did once I left the room was call my parents. They were very happy! The Vice Principal came into the room as I was calling them and jokingly told me congrats, and that I could pay him for stuffing the votes later, LOL! I loved him. I came home and told my brother. He was so happy that he wanted to drop me off at school, and help me to class that morning. He never wanted to do that before. I remember walking down the hall that morning with my brother getting stares and hearing whispers that I was the Homecoming Queen. That was one of the first times I felt that my bro was proud to have me as his sis.

Due to the fact me sharing my Homecoming experience is longer than expected I am going to spread it out into 3 separate posts. So be sure to check in so you can get the whole story. Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S
Next post: PLANNING AND GETTING READY FOR THE BIG DAY!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

YO BABY YO, U GOTS 2 B A SENIOR '92 OR U GOTS 2 GO!!!


Being a senior is what I had been waiting for. Physically I did not know if I would be able to make walking at school. My knees were giving out on me a lot, and my balance and coordination seemed to have progressed more. Walking any kind of a distance would make me out of breath. I had started using my wheelchair in the house during the summer which I had not done before. My mom and I had a meeting with the principal about a week before school started to make sure we were on the same page where my accommodations were concerned. For example, leaving class 5 minutes early, having two people assist me in walking, and the length of my classrooms between them. We had done this every year I had been there. And every year there was something else added to the list. The day before the meeting as a family we discussed the possibility that due to liability I would be going to another school that would be wheelchair accessible. This frightened me. I was comfortable there, and mostly everyone already knew my drunken self. So I did not want to have to start over. I had been to school since elementary with some of my classmates. The principal did not bring that up at that meeting. That was a big sigh of relief. There was other authority figures there as well. It was like they didn’t want me to leave, and were willing to do anything to keep me there. Made me feel good.

THE NEW CONCERNS/ACCOMODATIONS: Due to the fact that my brother had graduated my mom was now taking me to school. She would drop me off about 30 minutes before classes would begin so she could get to work on time. I needed somewhere I could sit to wait on class. English was my first hour class, and directly across the hall was the vice principal's office. I loved him (Mr. Henlsley-VP) as did everyone else. Mr. Hensley was always joking around with us (he was my Aunts {dads sis} driver’s ed teacher, LOL). He was at the meeting and offered me to wait in his office, and that his secretary would gladly walk me over to class on time. I had known her for a long time. She was in PTA when my mom was during elementary school. Her cute son was in the same grade as my brother. Small world, huh? We became good friends even though she didn’t get me a date w/ her cute son! Mr. H would surprise me sometimes with a cinnamon roll and chocolate milk for breakfast from the cafeteria! What a good way to start my day! That was one concern taking care of, and the next one was the bathroom. Sometimes the bathroom was not close, and I would not have enough time to go to the bathroom and get to class on time. Even if I had a pass during class it may take longer than normal for me. They assured me that it would be okay. One of my classes was accounting, and the teacher had a rolling table in which I would sit on. One of the other students (girls) would push me to the restroom. It was down the hall. I looked so funny sitting on that long table. GO SPEED RACER GO!! I remember one time going into someone else's classroom when I was on the table just waving, and saying Hi! Another one of my classes was office help. I would answer the switchboard in the main office. They would let me use the restroom in there for employees instead of having to go to the restroom down the hall. It all worked out. I still got piggy back rides sometimes. After leaving the meeting I was wore out, and I knew what little I had walked was nothing compared to what I was going to do when school started. I was very sad and came very close to throwing up my hands, and telling my mom I wanted to go somewhere where I could use my wheelchair because I couldn’t handle it. I did keep going though, and am so glad that I didn't give up. My life would not have been the same at all as you will see in the upcoming posts. This year was filled with so many wonderful and funny memories that it will take about 9 posts to talk about. Those memories kept me going! Just to give you a heads up on these future posts, and to help my memory to not forget to talk about them I will give a short outline.

SENIORS 92*Homecoming Queen
*Is it a trick or a treat?
*My first date
*The Nutcracker (ballet)
*Senior activities (scavenger hunt, hayride, canoeing)
*Playing Loto!
*Every rose has it’s thorn!
*Treasure Island
*The Season Finale

Staying in the same high school taught me some major life lessons. It taught me to never give up. There is not one person who does not require some kind of accommodations for something. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it (even know I still struggle with this sometimes), and know you are not alone. Just be yourself! No matter how unbalanced or how uncoordinated I was I was more happy, relaxed, and liked when I was just being me. I would love to hear any life lessons you have learned and how?

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S

Friday, March 09, 2007

IS THIS THING ON???

The summer after 11th my grade year (’91) was full of speaking events for MDA. Since having done my first speaking event with the MDA in 1989 I have done several up to now (91). Each time I would get more confident with what I was doing, and enjoyed it more and more. Being the center of attention for my disability was a good thing at that moment. There were a couple of events that I spoke at this summer that stand out for me.

The first event was something I spoke at for a couple of years. It was for Service Merchandise, and about a fundraiser they did every year called the Diamond Dig. The first time I spoke there it was with my mom. They asked us both to speak. My mom went first and started crying as she was telling of me being diagnosed and how hard it was for her to know that both parents have to be carriers of the gene in order to pass it on. So what did I do but cry as well. After two years of speaking to the employees they asked me to come back again. Only this time due to scheduling conflicts someone from MDA was not going to be able to represent. So they asked me if I could handle it alone. I got to know throughout the years some of the supervisors and was comfortable. So I got a VCR tape from MDA to show, and they also gave me percentages on where the money goes that is raised. After that, all I had to do was share about myself. I remember feeling so good, wanted, and needed. They asked me back so I guess it was all good!

The second event was one I started this summer (91). It was at the fire department's in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and for the fundraiser fill the boot. It was to motivate the firemen to raise money in their boots by standing on the street corners, and asking people for donations. I went to 33 fire stations in three days! I absolutely fell in love with these big hearted guys. They couldn't hardly keep down the flame that was coming out of me after seeing them! But I didn’t mind them trying though! I got to know these guys so well I was invited to dinner and lunch with them at their station. When I would come to talk to them they would make me cookies, and give me rides on fire truck. I still to this day volunteer in going to golf tournaments and fill the boot campaigns for the firemen whenever I get the chance.

I have met and done some of the most amazing things because of MDA! Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S

Sunday, March 04, 2007

THE BEST BIRTH CONTROL EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's take a few steps back to right before my 11th grade year began shall we? My aunt (mom’s youngest sister) was due to give birth to her second child sometime in August. She was planning to deliver the baby in a birthing room. There she would be able to invite as many people in the room she wanted. My mom was there to see her first baby born, and this time she was going to let my mom and I both be in the room. I was excited. The call came in the morning as her water broke, and she was admitted into the hospital. Once we got there she was not in one of the birthing rooms, but just a regular room. All of the birthing rooms were full, and so she got stuck in just a regular room. She was only allowed to have two people in the room at the time of delivery. Without a doubt I knew one of them was going to be her husband. I figured she would let my mom stay again. My aunt looked at my mom. My mom said she would let me stay. I was very excited and nervous for my aunt. One of the nurses came into the room, and told me I was going to have to leave as soon as the delivery was to begin. I asked why. She said because I was too young! I said I was 16 years old, and that there were kids younger than me having babies. I told her that my aunt agreed I could stay. I looked at my aunt and she told her it was fine. They told me to stay in the corner out of the way. I was using my wheelchair of course. So the pushing and stuff begins. I was trying to push as much as she was! I could hear some other ladies just screaming down the hall as they were giving birth. I had seen the TV shows, and how possessed women can act and figured my aunt would be like that. Mind you she had no drugs! She had few moments when she was in pain and you knew it, but for the most part she was very calm. At one point she turned and looked at me to ask me how I was doing. I think having me there helped her not to focus on the pain. After I told her not to worry about me she then told me that the pushing wasn't hard! My eyes were big enough and she was thinking that it was a walk in the park! What a brave woman! The doctor said, "I see the head." So I unlock my breaks on my wheelchair, and scooted up closer so I could see what was happening. It was amazing to see a living, breathing, life! It was a boy! After the nurses cleaned him up they went to give him to my aunt. She stopped them and told them to let me hold him first. What an honor. I will never forget that. That baby boy is a grown man now who is going to be starting college soon. Do I feel old or what?





























This was a big deal in my life to witness and I wanted to share. Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S.