1. Technically speaking, I shouldn’t even be here right now.  My mom had 5 miscarriages before I was born. She had a slew of health issues, and doctors did not know exactly what was the culprit, but they knew that pregnancies seemed to exacerbate her health problems and told her that she likely would not be able to have kids. Two years after I was born, my mom was officially diagnosed with Lupus. I should also mention that my parents were married and divorced…TWICE! The slew of miscarriages happened during their 1st marriage. When they re-married and my mother became pregnant again, friends and family weren’t exactly ecstatic because they had been here with her before and the last thing anyone wanted was for my mother to have to experience yet ANOTHER heartbreaking loss. My mother knew in her heart that this time would be different, & she was right! But, me being me, I couldn’t just enter the world with no drama at all! I was a preemie (due in mid-March, born January 31st) & weighed 4 lbs and 9oz.

2. Poverty. So, after my parents split for GOOD the 2nd time around, things were rough. My mother and I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be near family. Because of her illness, my mother had to receive dialysis treatments three days a week. Working full-time job was out of the question, so we were on government assistance and lived in housing projects. People who are from single-parent households who have lived in the rough neighborhoods that I grew up in are NOT supposed to have bright futures! I guess I didn’t get that memo.


3. Loss of a Parent. When was 14 years old, just weeks before my 8th grade graduation, my mom passed away. There are FULL GROWN women who have felt immense pain at the loss of their mother/best friend! There is never a good time to lose your mother, but from experience, I must say that one of the WORST times to lose your mother is as a newly teenaged girl right before starting high school!