Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward MageeNews.com a small commission – at no extra cost to you.
I’ve always been told that the hallways at the hospital were filled with curiosity the day I was born, January 22, 1978. I’m not sure what they were waiting to see, maybe they were thinking I was going to have two heads or something. Who knows? Anyway, as the story goes, the reason for all this curiosity began a few months earlier. My mother was traveling down an old country road to meet my father with some supplies. Somewhere along the way she lost control of the vehicle and went off the road out into a wooded area and centered a tree. It was a devastating accident Thankfully, Mr. Don Thames, a friend of the family, had been following close behind. He was able to get to her and call for help. She lost most of her teeth, her face had to be wired together, and she lost part of her kneecap…among other things. Well, as you can imagine injuries to that extent require a lot of x-rays and surgeries. Doctors and medical professionals use cautionary measures when they are AWARE of pregnancy, but no one knew she was pregnant because she didn’t know herself. As she began the road to recovery, morning sickness kicked in and a trip back to the doctor brought the discovery of the pregnancy. At this point, she was advised by multiple medical professionals to abort the pregnancy (an option that was made possible via Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973). She was advised that I would be developmentally delayed, mentally retarded as it was referred to in those days, and that I would likely also have physical disabilities. Despite the odds, she chose life. She chose to continue with a pregnancy that likely made the recovery from her wreck even more difficult. But that’s what a mother does! Five years to the day that Roe v. Wade was passed, I was born. January 22, 1978, the hospital halls were full of curious people. Much to their surprise, I wasn’t born with two heads and no feet. I am thankful for the power of prayer because I know many prayers were prayed on my behalf, even as I was in the womb.
No matter what I accomplish, I know I’ll always be trying to prove that I’m not who they thought I was going to be. I graduated from Magee High School in 1996, 11th out of 104 students, with high honors. In 2008, I earned a bachelor’s degree with a 3.5 GPA, while also mothering three young children during the process. In 2012, I took it a step further and earned my masters (Elementary Education) and in 2019 I completed my specialist degree (Higher Education Administration), each with a 4.0 GPA.
When I was completing my undergraduate degree, one of my assignments was to complete a pictorial biography spanning from birth to five years into the future. I was scrambling to add future goals, so I arbitrarily included a page indicating that I would earn my doctoral degree. I honestly had no plans or desires to complete ANY graduate degrees. However, my husband once told me that “if you’re not happy where you are don’t complain about it, DO something about it!” Those words of advice have been my inspiration as I earned my masters, specialist, and now my doctoral degree.
My husband of 22 years, Rainey, and our three children—Jacie, Jacob, and Joanna—have always been the driving force behind each of my educational pursuits. I wanted my children to see that no matter how many obstacles one may face, hard work and perseverance will eventually pay off.
My best friend, Christy Scott, was with me on graduation day to celebrate the completion of my “terminal” degree, Doctor of Philosophy (Higher Education Administration). Christy congratulated me on finally being done! Then, we both laughed because we both know I have no plans to stop learning now!
As of November 2022, I have been blessed to be the Project Director of the Mississippi Child Care Resource & Referral at MSU-Extension for Regions II, III, and IV of the state. I am excited to be planning the opening of a referral site in Simpson county very soon—a dream I’ve had for 6 years now!! More information will be coming soon about that!!
I will try my very best not to take this life I have been given for granted, and I will work hard to make a difference in the lives of others with each day I am given.
MageeNews.com is an online news website covering Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.