Monday, January 12, 2015

School Counselor

My life is still moving forward.  An update would include my decision to move from family counseling to school counseling.  To do this I have added a Master's Degree in Education from Liberty University.  I am currently working towards my licensure.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bachelor's Degree of Science in Psychology

Hello All,
I am having a strange evening due to I just posted my final assignment for my degree in psychology.  I have been working for four years to complete this degree and literally took assignments on all of my trips.  That includes beach vacations, mountain trips, shopping trips, and even anniversary trips.  I have no clue how it is going to feel tomorrow when I do not have to turn in any assignments or worry about test at the end of the week.  No more papers....Wow!!  My GPA has stayed high with most of my classes being in the A range.  Some B's but that is okay considering what I have experienced over the past four years.  Some highlights include:
  • ·      Working a full-time job at my church
  • ·      Quitting my job for a different full-time job
  • ·      Staying part-time at the church along with my other full-time job
  • ·      Celebrating 21 years of marriage
  • ·      Homeschooling both of my children
  • ·      My oldest getting a large scholarship into Converse College
  • ·      My youngest in high school (homeschool still)
  • ·      Keeping therapeutic foster children for the past 15 years
  • ·      My mother’s passing in November
  • ·      And turning 45

I think that is close to being the highlights.  What a busy time but time well spent!  I am very thankful to God for all the many blessings and for taking care of me during this time.  What a great testimony to Christ.  I plan to use this degree to continue my work in foster care.  I feel called to the mental health field and love what I do. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Last Words

I have been much more conscious of my spoken words lately.  For example, when I separate from my husband or kids I am quick to tell them I love them.  When I talk to my Dad I never leave without saying “I love you”.  Last words: they can be the most important words ever spoken. 

The last words my mother said directly to me were, “You are pretty”.  I went to her home to help her with lunch.  She was sleeping when I entered the room.  She woke and stared at me with deep concentration so I put my face in front of hers and looked her into the eyes.  As we gazed at each other I asked her what she was thinking and she said to me, “You are pretty”.  I smiled and told her that was because I looked like her.  She closed her eyes and went back to sleep.  At that moment I had no idea these would be her last words to me.  I was mistakenly thinking she was healing but in reality she was dying. 

As I reminisce over my life I think about the words I have spoken and those that should have been spoken.  I know I have not always said the right words at the right times and my goal is to do better in the future.  I want my words to be encouraging to those around me.  I want my family and friends to know they are special and loved.  I want others around me to be blessed by my words. 

The fact is, no one knows when God will open the doors of heaven for each one of us to come home.  I pray that my last words will be those of encouragement and blessings when I leave this earth.  I am thankful for my mother’s last words to me, which were that of encouragement and love.  I never remember a time of leaving my mother without saying the words, “Love ya, Mama”.  So now today I say them again to her in heaven.  “Love ya, Mama, and I miss you very much”. 
Merry Christmas Everyone!!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


“She held me as I entered this world and I held her as she left this world.”

My thoughts were scattered as we followed the ambulance to my mother’s final bed of rest on this earth.  We entered Hospice early on a Sunday morning just before church was to begin. She was no longer carrying on conversations with us, as she was fast asleep in a coma like state.  The end was approaching quickly for her but I just couldn’t accept the fact.

My mother’s illness of septic pneumonia progressed rapidly.  I sat by her bed and put cold washcloths on her forehead trying to cool her from the extremely high temperature she had.  It had ranged around 103 to 104 for several hours.  Medication was not affecting it at all but I still held hope she would recover.  All the signs were against it but I didn’t want to see them.

We played music by her bedside.  She had always loved hearing my daughter sing so we played songs she had recorded on my computer.  My mother would open her eyes when the singing begin but would soon close them again.  My mother did have a few last words.  As she lay on the comfortable bed provided by Hospice my mother never fully came out of her sleep.  At one point my daughter was talking to her and Mama said to her “I love you”.  Early, on the day of her death my mother voiced, “I feel like crying”.  I may never know why she felt like crying but I am sure it could have been a number of things. 

Her life was full of struggles and pain.  She had endured the loss of two babies in her early 20s.  Later she developed paranoid schizophrenia.  This horrible mental illness took her opportunity at being the mother to my sister and me that she had always hoped to be.  Her battle lasted all of her adult years and included assisted living and many medications.  She also endured diabetes, high blood pressure, vision problems, and crippling arthritis. 

Even though my mother was not the kind of mother who could take me shopping or help me with any of my “girly” issues, I still loved her and I always wanted her to know that.  She loved flowers and that was my love language to her.  I took her flowers often and she always loved them.  She would have me sit them at the end of her bed.  She said that is where she could see them best.    

As the time came closer for my mother to leave this earth I found comfort in wrapping my arms around her and holding her close.  I wanted her to know that I loved her even to the end.  I wanted her last feelings to be the love of her daughter who was holding her as she met Jesus.  I was blessed to be with my mother till she graduated on into heaven.  I held her as she took her last breath. 

My mother went to heaven on November 20, 2012 at 2:15pm.  Now I vision her healthy and happy wrapped in the arms of Jesus.  She can now hold her two babies that went on before her and tell them how much she loves them and how she missed them on earth.  She can dance and swing her babies around as she laughs and is happy.  No more pain for my mother.  Only joy.  Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


When I think back to my childhood I can't remember being fed by my mother although I know she did feed me. I can remember her sitting down at the sewing machine and sewing clothes for me and for my dolls.  I can remember just a few months ago I took her flowers and there were two roses mixed with other varieties.  My mother looked at the two roses and said, “Rita, those two roses are me and you.”  As the end comes for our parents it seems that memories are all that we have left.  My mother has been diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis and the only cure is open-heart surgery.  However, she is too week from a blood infection so she cannot have the surgery.  At the hospital she told the doctors she did not want to have open heart surgery so I guess in a way, she also had a say in the decision.  All the same, it is very difficult to see her health decline each day.  
She now lies in her hospital bed with the care of Hospice and barely speaks.  She looks at me with deep concentration when I go to see her.  Yesterday she stared at me for the longest time so I looked back at her.  A few minutes into the deep concentration I ask her what she was thinking.  She said in a very slow voice "you are pretty".  As I felt a tear roll down my face I reminded her that I looked like her and that she was beautiful.  She smiled a little.  She then went back to sleep.  Tonight as I fed her meal to her I realized this is another memory to cherish.  She will not be with us much longer so it is imperative to cherish all the past memories as well as the future ones with her.  I may not remember my mother feeding me as a child but I will always remember feeding her as an adult.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012



So, Lets talk about Moms!

I think we all have many moms in our lives, for me, a birth mom, a stepmom, a mom-in-law and even a grandmother who filled in at times. Each of my moms has had different impacts on my life. We will start with my birth mom.

She brought me into this world, which was a great miracle for her. You see, before bringing me into this world, she had lost two others. My brother and sister, born a year apart, both died after birth. This was so traumatic for her; she developed a condition called paranoid schizophrenia. Over my life, there were many times she was unable to care for me. As a teenager I felt like I missed out on things other girls were doing. Although she could not do for me things other mothers could do, she taught me how to understand others. I learned from her what today helps me understand people who have mental disabilities.

God sent me my stepmom when I was a young teenager. She came alone when I needed a mom during the teen years. She was the one who helped me in the most vulnerable days of dating. She was the one who made sure we went to the beach each year. She was the one who took me to pick out the prom dress and sat with me as we waited on my first date to arrive. She helped me through my wedding and the birth of my children. Without her, I am not sure where I would have been today.

Then there is my mom-in-law. She is the mom who is always there. She cooks lunch ever Sunday for us. She puts on the big Christmas for us. She keeps her grandchildren and goes on trips with us. She is the glue that holds our family together. I am truly blessed by her love and care for our family.

My precious grandmother had a huge impact on me. Actually she was the one who brought the discipline. No, she didn’t have to actually spank me, but she taught me the values that I live by today. She brought out the bible and taught me to live by it. Even today, when things come into my life that would not benefit me, my grandmother’s words come to me and give me guidance. I truly miss her now that she is in Heaven, but I know I will see her again one-day.

Now I am a mom. Not only do I have the privilege of being the mom of two great children, I am blessed to be a mom to many children through foster care. I feel like all the moms in my life have had a great impact. I hope I have learned something from all of my moms to help me become a better "Mom".

I am blessed beyond measure and I don’t take it for granted. I love them all and thank God for what He has done for me.
Meet my birth mom..........Edith.  This picture was taken about three years ago.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kure Beach Trip August 2011

Hello.......hope you are doing well.

I am posting about my family's beach trip today.  It was super fun and we enjoyed our time together.  We have 18 family members that eat together every Sunday at Mawmaw Patty's house.  All of these people went to the beach!  We are very blessed to have such a family.  During our 10 day stay we enjoyed many activities such as going to the fair and the aquarium.  Brookley tried surfing and did very well.  Clifton loved fishing from the pier so he spent a good amount of time there.  We had a cookout one evening and it was fun.  The pool and beach was great.  I spent more time at the beach than the pool this year.  I had to study for finals during this trip but it was okay since I did not have many responsibilities.  My kids are older now so they could handle themselves.  They are very responsible so I did not have to worry about them either.  One evening after dinner Brookley played her guitar on the beach.  A crowd always gathers when she plays and sings.  We visited the Army store, the old jail house, walked the streets of Wilmington, and shopped like we were on vacation.  Haha we were on vacation!  It was a wonderful trip.  Here are some of my memories to share.