At this stage of my life, I find myself more relaxed, confident and self-assured. I am able to meet my three friends for coffee, shopping or dining out whenever we want. Now, I have agreed to challenge myself to get into better shape by eating healthy and walking each day. Building stamina is a key issue particularly now that I can afford to trek around the world with my sister, my very best friend, who is an excellent travel planner, tour guide, and companion.
However, before I play too much I do have a loose end to weave into place, which is finishing my dissertation. I want to utilize this education to continue working passionately as a feminist crusader. The knowledge and experience I have gained from working in an urban setting as a teacher, nurse, women’s rights advocate, and friend are phenomenal. This wisdom has provided me with the enlightenment necessary to mentor a group of urban adolescent females known as the PEARLS (past poverty to educational and career success).
Besides being a blissful working woman, I am also a daughter, wife, mother, and friend. Fortunately, my parents are both living, and even though they struggle with their health problems each day, they bring joy and laughter to my soul. After 43 years, I am still married to my high-school sweetheart who holds my hand and manages to keep me grounded at the end of every day. My son, who keeps my heart beating, is all grown up, healthy and quite a successful doctor, which brings a sigh of financial relief to me.
On the surface, my life appears to be all sunshine and lollipops; however, throughout the years, I have had to acknowledge and cope with many disturbing and distressing predicaments. One issue I have had to accept is that my father is suffering from the destructive effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past 20 years, I have had to reconcile myself to the fact that my husband’s health is precarious. He suffers one serious health crisis after another, leaving his body in a ravaged state. Yet, in spite of all this adversity, nothing prepared me for the most devastating time of my life when I had to be my son’s rock of Gibraltar and thorn in his side as he battled cancer and won.
Now, I take nothing for granted. I live each day fully as I continue visiting new places, meeting new people, and moving the PEARLS toward their own successes.