Sunday, July 12, 2009

Symbols and Signs

She's home.

My adorable, bright and dear daughter is now back home and hopefully not leaving for a very long time. For any new readers who happen upon here, Les has been in a boarding school in Utah for 14 months. You can read more about it in this post.

The school gives each girl a very special farewell ceremony.

Here are some highlights:

This is the "cradling" ceremony. The departing student chooses two songs which she feels describe her, define her, and reflect her experience in changing her life. Leslie chose, "Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas, and "Extraordinary", by Mandy Moore. Great choices - find the lyrics and you'll see why. During this ceremony, the music is played while the girl is gently lifted and rocked by all those around her who love her - the other students and friends and staff, teachers, therapists, and parents are now again at "the head". Significant in numerous ways.

The "graduating" student also makes a stepping stone filled with items that reflect who she is, what her journey has been, hopes for the future, etc. She shows each item and tells what it means to her and what it symbolizes.

And then it is put into the cement!

Here is her finished stepping stone, or "head stone" as the girls
affectionately(?) call it:

That evening, we met up with most of the Utah Tait family for a little dinner and celebration of her being on her way home.

The "Good to Go" sign is very significant, don't you think?

We visited family in Vegas and also in Arizona. My sister in law, Darlene, had this displayed in front of her house:

This year we have learned many therapeutic words and phrases. One of those phrases is called "getting back to baseline", which means that you are taking a few minutes to be calm, relaxed and ready to discuss anything. For example, if we are having an important discussion and one of us is getting riled up or upset, another family member says, "ok, take a minute to get back to baseline and then we will continue". The discombobulated person then takes a moment, a time-out if you will, to self-regulate and be calm.

Well, in Mesa, there is a prominent street named Baseline. While out with my nieces, we all thought it would be very appropriate to take Leslie's photo on Baseline to prove that she knows how to get there! Ah, the irony!

Yep, she's there. For now.

Upon arriving back in good old Merry Land, we happened upon this:

Thanks, K, for the sign.

We have been through countless thoughts and emotions over the past week. We feel grateful to our Heavenly Father for the blessings that come after the storm, and especially those that come DURING the torrential rain. We know more storms will come - in one way or another.

For now, though, the symbols and signs show us that some sun is here
for a while.

Excuse me while I bask in its brilliance.


  1. So glad to hear you are all together again. I am sure it was a hard yet rewarding experience for you all.

  2. Wow, love that. Welcome home Leslie, and congrats to all of you for making it so far, you are shining examples to me and my family, thank you.
    With Love, Kaylene

  3. That post brought chills all over my body... Love you guys so much. Leslie, I'm so proud of you! And I am so grateful to have been able to have been able to get to know you a little more this last year! You are truly amazing....

  4. Glad she is home! It was nice to look over and see her sitting between Richard and you! Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Yay! I'm happy to hear the good news!

  6. Yay! Can't wait to see you all and give Leslie a big hug!

  7. I am so happy for all of you. She looks great and very happy. I like the baseline definition...I need to remember that one on a daily basis. We have been finishing our basement, so the added stress and chaos have made me a little crazy. The carpet is getting installed today, so hopefully I can mellow out a bet. I love you all!!!!


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