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June 14, 2019

posted Jun 17, 2019, 5:48 AM by Christine Roman
Dear Parents/Guardians,

If you have been reading these newsletter articles for a while, you know of my tradition to write about my nieces, nephews or godchildren when they graduate from high school. Well, I am almost at my last. Maggie is the last of my siblings’ children and Olive, my last godchild, will turn six in July. 

Margaret (Maggie) McNeil will graduate from Gilford High School on Sunday. I remember driving up to the Lakes Region General Hospital to meet her. The first time I held Maggie, she was bundled up in a pink blanket with an M & M’s baby cap on her head. I remember laughing with my sister about her cap as MM was Maggie’s initials. In that first snuggle with Maggie, I fell in love.

Maggie has so much to be proud of as she finishes high school. She has not only excelled in sports but is graduating as their senior class president and academically in the top 10 in her class. Maggie was a
member of the swim team, played varsity volleyball and softball along with being a member of the Lakes Region Volleyball JO Program. She was a member of the Interact Club and president of the Varsity Club at GHS.

What has impressed me most about Maggie is that she has accomplished all of this while dealing with a chronic illness. Maggie has been a patient of Boston Children’s Hospital since fourth grade. She doesn’t let her migraines stop her from success. Her determination, perseverance, and sheer will to play sports, attend school, and be a normal teenager was displayed often over the years. Maggie has learned to cope and doesn’t let the brutal head pain, side effects from the drugs, or hospital stays derail her goals.

Maggie has also had to deal with having a “second mom” for her whole life. She understands that I will defend my sister 100% of the time. I will address her disrespectful words and actions. I will give my opinion even if it wasn’t asked for.

Some of my greatest experiences as an adult have occurred with Maggie. Rooming together on our trip to Alaska last year. Watching the love of her grandfather with her whole heart and always saying, I love when “Pup-Pup comes to watch my games”, “Pup-Pup looks good” and “Pup-Pup looked cute.” Having her ask me to coach her JO volleyball team so she would be ready to try out for varsity after her freshmen year. Our yearly fishing competition.

Maggie’s compassion for others, a passion for science, willingness to go against the norm and her personality are qualities I admire. I enjoy our conversations around the dinner table and via text. Her shy exterior fades quickly and her sense of humor, laughter, and carefree spirit shines. Maggie, I am so proud of all the things you have already accomplished and what an amazing young lady you have become. I can’t wait to see what comes next in your adventure at Norwich University. I am honored to be your aunt. Love you, Magster!

Have a great weekend!