Rosedale Prom 2015

Main hall at Rosedale school decorated with fish and coral for the 2015 Prom: "Under the Sea."
"Under the Sea" at Rosedale Prom 2015
We attended the 2015 Rosedale Prom this Saturday. It was strange to go without Savannah. (To read about last year's prom and see Savannah cutting a rug with Bernardo, her date, click the following link to Rosedale Prom 2014.)

Several years ago, the Rosedale Prom was started by a group of parents who were lamenting that their children would never drive or get married or have the experiences that other kids do. "They'll never get to go to prom," one said. Someone pushed back, "Why not?" There are so many things we can't control, but putting on a prom was not one of them.

Savannah's empty wheelchair goes with us to the Prom in her van.
Savannah's empty wheelchair in the van
They debated about which students should go. "Everyone," was the answer. If attendance was restricted to the oldest kids, a whole group would never go because they wouldn't live long enough. Why wait?

Leading up to this year's prom I spent the day in a funk. As the time drew closer, I put on my headphones and lay on the sofa with my classical records.

"Are you alright?" Tamara asked, as we got ready.

"Just a little depressed. I don't want to go to the prom tonight," I said as I tied my bow tie.

"We'll just stay for a short time."

We took her van in honor of Savannah. Her wheelchair came with us because we're storing it in the van until we can donate it. I didn't play her Elvis tape. I didn't think I could bear it.

We stayed longer at the prom than we anticipated. We had a nice dinner in the gym with Elizabeth and Richard. Ruby and I danced. We got our photo taken. We ran into Bernardo, who was there with some of the other UT Cowboys, dancing with the kids. He hugged us and told us again how Savannah had touched him in such a way that his life would never be the same. He'd led an effort recently to raise $10,000 to build a "sensory" room at Rosedale for kids like Savannah.

The full moon over our house as we arrive home.
Everyone we met expressed their condolences and told us how much they missed her. Right before we left, Tamara said, surveying the dance floor, the blue lights, the students dancing with glow necklaces, "Savannah would have loved this."

We drove home in quiet contemplation. It was a magical night as always. I was glad to have gone and been a part of the Rosedale family again.

The moon, full and shining, guided us home. Though her chair was empty, she was with us, smiling and laughing, as she did every year at prom.

#prom #disability #specialneeds #parenting #mourning #grief #family #Rosedale #school

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