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Furthering Educational Pursuits

Organized by: Rhonda Johnson-Reid

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For Mom and Me
July 24, 2016

THE STORY:

On May 9, 2014, my best friend, supporter and biggest fan, my mom, got her wings and went to heaven.  She and I had spent the five years previous to her departure, visiting all sorts of doctors, and learning about her disease, Super Nuclear Palsy dementia.  Once it became necessary to place mom in an assisted living facility, I began to spend countless hours worrying about her care and treatmemt, in addition to visiting the facility virtually every evening to check in on her, pick up her laundry, drop off supplies, help with baths or feedings, entertain and console her and try desperately to keep my promise to her that I would always be her rock.  In the last couple years prior to her departure, mom's speech became very labored and eventually she was unable to speak at all.  From this point we communicated with our eyes and hand jestures.  I knew my mom so well and she knew that.  She entrusted a great deal to me in her care and financial upkeep.  We spoke to each other's spirits when there were no more words and with her hand in mine, and our eyes looking into each other's eyes, we felt each other's joy; and silently, behind subtle smile-adorned faces, almost as if keeping a secret from each other, we felt the pain that hung like a cloud over both of our heads as we began to realize that the day would come when we have to say goodbye to each other for the last time.  This is a pain like no other I have ever felt and continue to feel because I miss her so.  When mom left, I felt so displaced and useless and alone. I aksed myself what was I to do now?

I prayed everyday that God would light a path for me and help me get through what seemed like the longest of evenings because she was no longer here to visit, kiss on, care for, speak for or even lean on.  Who would I tell of my accomplishments, achievements, triumphs and troubles.  I suppose the grief and idolness led me back to finishing a goal I had started and stopped so many times before, because life, fear, sickness and death got in the way.

So here I am 53 years old and pursuing a graduate degree in Psychology, Industrial and Organizational psychology to be exact. I have been employed for a little over 27 years and am due to retire in 3 more years. Even after retiring, I will not be able to actually stop working because now I will have student loans to repay and health insurance to keep in force. Even still, there is so much I still want to do in my life, so many lives I want to touch in a positive and impacting way. Hence, the reason for continuing my education and enhancing my skill set, so that I might continue to be competitive in the job market but more importantly competent and able to bring value to the community table and the world at large.

I found this website and decided to give it a try.  I figured if 100,000 people each donated $1.00 then that would help pay off my student loans and at least that would be one less thing to worry about after retirement and starting to live on a fixed income or hopefully finding a career I enjoy. My mission as I have chosen to accept it, is to keep pushing on and completing my goals and continuing to make mama proud because I know she's watching and cheering me on - and remembering that she is still my biggest and most angelic fan.

I am thankful in advance for any contributions made toward my cause.

For mama and me

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Rhonda Johnson-Reid

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