|June 14, 2008
This is my fourth attempt to write Courtney's ballet recital update. As most of you know, I'm just like any other grandma, I LOVE bragging about my granddaughter's Courtney and Kendall. My montages and pictures are a way for me to share with all of you our precious memories we have with our special angel Courtney, each picture reflecting the moments that we cherish with her. When I include updates describing the events, sometimes I have to reach deeper into my memories, stirring all the emotions and reliving all the times of the past. While attempting to write this update I have cried many tears, both tears of joy and sadness as I recall Candace being pregnant with my first grandchild. I remember when Candace was pregnant with Courtney how she chose the ballerina and ballerina bears theme to decorate their bedroom. Candace and I spent hours during her last months of her pregnancy stenciling tiny pink stars around the room and shopping for ballet themed items to hang in the room. I recall how excited we both were chatting about the arrival of the baby and we shared with each other our dreams we each had for Courtney. Like every mother expecting a girl, Candace had the dream of seeing Courtney on stage in her first ballet recital, dressed in a pink leotard and pink dance slippers. We never dreamed that her baby girl would never walk much less dance on a stage.
Most of you have read Courtney's story on her website. I am attaching a few photos to go along with the update and montage. There is a photo of the nurse getting Courtney's footprints right after delivery, and one of Candace and Courtney looking into each others eyes for the first time.
After Courtney's diagnosis right before she turned five months old, (when we were told not to expect her to live to celebrate her first birthday) we wanted to make sure that she got to have as many birthdays as possible so we started having birthday parties on the thirteenth of every month for her. Courtney's five month birthday party was at home with a large number of family friends. Her six month birthday party was held at a pizza place near to our home. I remember that I had called and made the reservation for the party package and when we arrived with a cake topped with a tiny ballerina, gifts and decorations, our party hostess remarked that Courtney sure was small to be celebrating her first birthday. This party goes along with the montage because Candace had chosen once again the ballerina theme for this special celebration in which we were celebrating six months of life for Courtney, not knowing if she would survive to celebrate the seventh month.
About one week before Courtney's 5th Miracle Birthday Celebration, I called The Rachal Dance Studio near to our home to ask if some of the ballerina's would perform for Courtney at her party. The children did a wonderful job performing, becoming a treasured memory in our hearts forever. The dance studio never wanted any public recognition for their participation, only wanting their performance to be a gift from them to Courtney and our family. The studio even asked Courtney to be in their dance recital, giving us the opportunity to have that dream come true of seeing Courtney on stage in her first ballet recital. You all know how we believe in miracles, the Rachal Dance Studio made another one of Courtney's Miracles Happen. Special thanks to the children who gave of themselves, their time and talent to dance for Courtney; to Beth Dimmick, we thank you for having the compassion to want to give Courtney and our family this wonderful memory and for the wonderful speech and for Courtney's trophy.
I will never forget how Candace cried when you called Courtney's name out to receive her trophy; thanks to Kathy Pratt for befriending me and helping me with all the recital plans and calming our last minute recital jitters and to all the parents and grandparents of the children, we thank you for sharing this special event with us. I know because of Courtney the evenings performance was longer than normal but you all were so patient and because of your kindness we felt so welcomed. You allowed the spot light to shine on our little princess. Yes little princess, you are a beautiful ballerina girl, we love you Courtney!