Peace Corps EXTREME Progress!!!!

I spoke to my placement officer for an hour about 10 minutes ago. She told me the best news ever: After nearly a year of slow progress I have finally been QUALIFIED FOR SERVICE!!!! WHAT!!??? YES.

I feel like I feel when I climbed a mountain for the first time in Rio (:

….and only 2 weeks after I was medically qualified (

People weren’t kidding when they said it was a very slow process that speeds up towards the end!

She called it a “milestone” and it truly feels like a milestone. I am looking forward to the future.

I may be receiving information about my invitation within two weeks!

Stay Tuned!

Sometimes you need to hit the lowest of low points

My Aunt Passed away last night. It all happened in a day. The last I spoke to her she was fine: laughing, dancing, and….yes drinking. She was always a source of light in any room and she was often the person I went to in my own low points. She was always there for me, as she was for everyone.

My family and I stayed in the hospital practically all day yesterday while she was in a coma. It was sudden and unexpected. My whole family is close-knit. We don’t understand the meaning of extended in our family. We hoped and prayed and prayed some more.

When she died I wailed, loud. I cried harder than I can remember. I couldn’t walk or move. All I wanted to do was crumple within myself and cry.

I not only cried for the loss of my aunt, but for the pain of losing my mother made raw again. I felt as if they both died last night. And I felt selfish for thinking it.

No one expects this type of thing. No one wants this type of thing.

You wouldn’t look at my Aunt Desoree, or my Mother, and associate them with death. They were so full of life that they seemed immortal.



I am overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness.I feel as if all the most wonderful people in my life are leaving me behind. But, I understand the importance of living my life the best I can. I understand the importance of making life easier for those around me and those who are not as fortunate as  I am.

It is not about me. It is greater than me.

I am blessed to have the family I have and the support system I have. I have lost 4 important people in my life in 1 1/2 years, but I feel they have left a hell of a great example. I will continue to try to be even half as amazing as they were. I’m not calling them saints, but their open-ness about their flaws and their love towards everyone made me feel as if they were truly angels on earth.

I appreciate every moment I’m given. I do not intend to waste a second stuck in one spot. Whether that spot be depression, complacency .etc. With the family I have, my life will continue to be filled with laughter, generosity, and love. I am not just living for myself. I am living to carry on a legacy that will last for generations to come.I am rising above my circumstance and finding strength when I feel weaker then I ever have. I have no choice but to take on the challenge. If we don’t, then who will?

I have no choice but to move forward…

Bouncy Room

             My Parents owned an impossibly high and wide bed. To my nine year old eyes, the wide bed was like King Arthur’s bouncy castle, it was magnificently sprawled across the small Master bedroom, filling the entire room and leaving little room on either side. The room was the bed. My parents’ bed was my place of refuge. It bore the perfect ratio between comfort and substance that my bunk-bed would never accomplish. Who needs a floor with space when you can bounce, roll, and flip to where you need to go? I would scramble onto the foot of the bed, my sisters squeezing on either side of me, and prop my head in my hands. We’d stretch as far as our limbs could go in our limited bubbles. We would watch movies on my Parent’s tiny TV in our t-shirts and eat Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn with extra butter. We’d spend hours watching Aladdin, Belle, and Hercules in a world we conceived in our minds existed somewhere. My Parent’s room was where my family and I would sing together because the walls of the room emphasized our harmony. My Parents’ room was also where my sisters and I would listen, on edge, to Daddy talk about his adventures as a Corrections Officer. My sister Alleyah was always the first to slickly swipe Daddy’s glowing handcuffs and leisurely cuff and un-cuff her hands while he told us his story of the day.

        Daddy would come home exhausted, looking as if he had never had an ounce of sleep in his life. When he kicked off his shoes and flopped down at the head of the bed, a sudden animated spirit would revive him from his restlessly dormant state and give us our news for the day. We would hear about men who taunted guards, men who fought other men, and men who were just plain insane. We would hear about the crimes they committed and the crazy things that some inmates did to pass the time. The rise and fall of his voice matched the motions of his hands as he gestured the story into life, ushering the story from his mind before our eyes. He would censor the stories, shielding our eyes from the severity of life outside and behind brick walls. Although I was attentive to the stories, I mostly looked forward to Daddy’s animated face and his booming laugh that erupted from his belly and seemed to interrupt him mid-word.

Even Saturdays, when I often tested the strength of the soles of my bare feet on the earth of our back yard, I could hear Daddy’s laughter fill the universe. In me, it confirmed and ingrained a feeling of place. Here, wrapped in the arms of apple and pear trees, away from the rowdy, intrusive Brinkley Road, I was safe to do anything. I knew where I was in my family. I was the eldest of four kids in a family of six. I was my sister’s adventure doctor and my baby brother’s diaper changer. I was my Father’s little girl and I was my Mother’s diary of secrets. All that mattered was where I stood among the most important people in my life.

      The grass in our yard was green and full of rabbit holes. My sisters and I would carefully run around, being careful to land our feet like astronauts on the moon. The holes led to the unexpected, and in our minds, either led to a twisted ankle or a trip to China. The trees that surrounded us bore a story themselves. The previous owners were an old married couple who planted their own food and were married for a lifetime. They had been the original owners of the brick rambler and raised a family in my home. I often wondered if their kids ever climbed the trees their parents grew or peeled the bark off the base of the apple trees as I would often do.

       The yard was electrified with lively fireflies at night in the summer. I felt as if these bugs had invaded the solitude of our open yard, disturbing an unspoken balance. Although I was logical and knew that the living light bulbs could not harm me, I never approached them without a pair of gloves and a jar. When I encased them in the glass, I was not filled with some awe-inspired feeling of wonderment. I was glad I trapped the “bugs that won’t stop following me.” I fell asleep in comfort knowing that the Lightning bug inmates couldn’t harm me or my family with no way of escape. I was the unspoken family guard.