Gracie Is Headed for Hawaii (and Maybe Even a Little Surfing)

With her first year of middle school just about over, Gracie says it was a great year, even though she was nervous in the beginning.

The school year is coming to an end, and I was really nervous starting middle school. I did not know what to expect.

It was hard starting a new school with half a smile, a limp and an arm that doesn't really work. I was worried that other kids would judge me or not understand me. My mom said every kid is worried about what people think about them the first day of school. They are too worried about fitting in themselves to worry about me. 

I was lucky to know a lot of kids in all of the grades, and everyone was really nice to me. I even made new friends this year with people who didn't know me before my stroke.

My good friends stuck by me and made sure I always had a place to sit, even though I did not get there very fast.  I had great teachers and learned so much in my classes. I learned about our earth, ancient civilizations and math. 

My favorite subject, however, is English. I read over 4,000 pages this year.

I will miss all of my teachers, and I can't wait to see them after summer. I will miss Mr. Young; he is moving away. He is very kind and will be a great teacher at his next school.  Thank you to all of my teachers for teaching me so much.  

One person who has always been at my side is Ms. Leslie. When I came back to school after being in the hospital, I was still in a wheelchair, and Ms. Leslie was assigned to be my aide. She has been with me ever since.  Even though I can walk now, Ms. Leslie helps me write. I used to be right-handed, but I had to relearn to write with my left.  I can't write as fast as the other kids, and she helps me with it. 

Ms. Leslie helps me with so much I can't really describe it.  She is so nice to everyone, and all the kids love her, especially when she brings candy! I am so glad to have her as my aide and feel like she is a family member.   

So now it's time for dance recital, end of the year celebrations and vacation. My family is going to Hawaii this summer. I had my stroke five days before we were supposed to go on my first trip to Hawaii. 

I always felt bad we had to cancel it, and last summer we couldn't go because I had surgeries scheduled. I am so glad that we get to go this year.  I can't wait to finally see Hawaii.     

Hopefully, this year I can try surfing again. The day I had my stroke was the first time I got up on the surf board, and I haven't tried since. Maybe this is the summer to try again.  


abigail farrell June 21, 2011 at 05:31 AM
I hope you get back up on a surf board, but if you experience difficulty with it, don't automatically assume it has to do with your stroke. I, for instance, have not a had a stroke and if I ever got up on a surf board it would be because someone came along with a hoist attached to a speed boat and hauled my carcass up onto the board, and then I would need a big net to keep me up there. If any of the other kids in your class were asked to switch from their dominant hand to the other hand for writing, their script would look like a kindergartener's. You didn't ever ask to make these additions to your skill set, but now that you have done so your brain has more open channels than many of your contemporaries. You are so open to the world, in all its complexities. Good for you.
Margaret Hughes June 21, 2011 at 06:34 AM
You are going to love Hawaii Grace. It's a special place, and you are a natural for the hula!! Good luck with the surfing....I can't wait to hear all about it.
Cathie McGinnis June 21, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Hey Gracie! Congratulations on having such a good school year! Have a blast in Hawaii - it's one of my very favorite places. Take lots of pictures!
Jodi Barber June 22, 2011 at 03:29 PM
I wish I was lucky enough to know Gracie, but what I do know is that she is a fantastic writer with such determination to go on with her life and make all her dreams come true! What an inspiration she is to all! You are amazing and I wish you all the best! I know without a question, you will get on that board and ride those waves! Hawaii is our other home. You are going to love it!! Aloha!!
tricia June 24, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Great article as usual Gracie. I am sure you will have a great time in Hawaii. God Bless Ms. Leslie for being such a wonderful helper to you. Love your style girl!


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