I never had any real dreams or purpose for my life in my early years. My parents’ dream was for me to marry a Christian man so they would not have to worry about me anymore. That was probably why they sent me to a Nazarene college. My mother said she was scared in raising me because I was “daring.” I think my parents thought my marrying would ease their mind. Anyway, I got no real career guidance.
Then God brought Caleb into my life. For years I had worked as an Executive Assistant but Caleb lit a fire in me. Not only did I channel that fire to advocate for him, but also for others.
I always dreamed of getting my Bachelor’s degree. I knew I was smart enough and lamented leaving college after two years. I knew to make a difference in the lives of those with disabilities and their families, I had to have a degree…credentials.
Now single, having gone through so much with Caleb and with others, an opportunity presented itself that brought me to a turning point. Long story short, I entered Capital University as a Junior going full time while working full time. With a major of social work, I knew graduate school would not be optional. I graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a Master’s of Science in Social Administration one month before my 50th birthday.
I now work at Akron Children’s Hospital in Pediatric Palliative Care. I get to travel the journey with many families whose children/young adults have life-threatening condition or disabilities. I am honored to make a difference through advocacy and case management for these individuals and their families. But it is very hard work. I work with lovely people. There is also tremendous pressure. Much is required. The bar of expectations is very high. The hours can be long. Balance can seem elusive. You are at high risk for burn out and compassion fatigue.
But it is a privilege. It is my dream.