The Purpose

October 31, 2010
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I remember the look on everyone’s faces as four year old Bernita proclaim to one day become a doctor, and find a cure to end the illness that took away her father’s ability to walk. The room raved in conversation about the youth, and how it had not all gone to the dogs, that we still had a bright future waiting for us with young willing minds that thirsted for knowledge .The little girl smiled as she was showered with the attention only suited for a queen; But little did that four year old girl know, that at that moment she had set a standard for herself that in her teen years she wouldn’t long to fulfill.

Growing up I was sought to be my mother and father’s pride and joy. Being my mother’s only child she protected, and sheltered me from not only the harsh realities of the world but, the everyday grievances like rejection, manual labor, and even self-reliance. And being the youngest by fifteen years on my father’s side pretty much gave me a get away with anything and everything pass that I can say is still in full effect till this day. Now even though the two never married or could never seem to see eye to eye they shared a love for me like no other.

Like all loving parents mine wanted the best for me, that high paying job with the good benefits, long vacations, and notoriety; and up until seventh grade it seemed in reason, then life started to change. I was in more honors classes so the work became harder, I’d switched from the Richmond City school system to a much more academically challenging Henrico county school system, my grandfather who spoiled me half rotten had passed away, and my mother was diagnosed with level 4 breast cancer. Now even though all this was happening everyone around me continued to try to protect me a shield from the reality of what was going on, but the sicker my mother got the more I found myself to be more independent, and less self-indulgent.

Being an only child finding children my age was like finding a burger in a vegan’s kitchen so my only option was adults so that meant a lot of “Grown folk’s Business”. I loved keeping up with my mother’s bills and work papers and going to her nurse agency when she picked up her check to see all the business people filing, coping, and sitting behind there important desk’s; But most of all I admired seeing Mrs., Fergerson because she was the boss that nobody wanted to mess with, the type of woman I wouldn’t mind being when I grew up.

At the end of 9th grade my mother’s health went from bad to worse and she needed me more than ever. I could see that I was losing her, and the reality that I had never knew was nothing less than a filmier acquaintance. School was the last thing from my mind, but I managed to keep it together long enough to finish the year with a 3.4 Grade point average. A trip to visit the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine had given me a rude awaking to my future as a medical student. Eight plus years of, no social life, no extra spending funds, and no sleep had put a damper on my family’s hope of having its first doctor. Between my lack of passion for the medical field, my lack of interest in school, and lack of patients for everything else made that visit seem pointless. But midway through we were all asked why we wanted to be doctors, and after I delivered my soap opera scene one of the seniors made a statement that has stuck with me till this day, and she answered “I have a purpose”. When asked what that purpose was she could not say, but she knew she had something to offer this world.

After realizing that being a doctor was not the walk for me I started viewing my options. Singing, psychology, social work, communications, but I just couldn’t come to terms with my purpose. As I stared to tell more and more people of my uncertainty those same people with the happy faces, and the hope for the future saw less hope and more dogs, and I felt more gilt. I realized that this purpose thing was not as easy as it sounded, and that girl wasn’t the only one in that I don’t know category.

On September 2, 2008 the first day of my 10th grade year, my aunt and uncle walk through the door and told me that the love of my life, my best friend was gone. My mother had lost her battle to cancer, and though I appeared to be strong on the outside I felt weakened on the inside. As I went to live with my aunt and switch schools it felt like nothing could go right. I skated through all of 10th and half of 11th grade years, until I realized the end was drawing near. One night in a dream my mother came to me and she said “I never told you, what you had to be, I just said be somebody, and how can you be something while doing nothing” those words got to me, and once again reality appeared. All of my friends were fighting to get in application for scholarship’s, praying that they had did well enough their first semester to boost up their grade point average so they could get in into not their 1st, or their 2nd, but their 3rd choice school and the others were sitting pretty sporting their new college gear bragging about their scholarships and first choice school. Then once again I made the decision that I had a purpose, but this time I was determined to find it.

I remember the look on Anita’s face when she realized her 9 year old daughter sprained her ankle pretending to be Mrs. Fergerson, how she said “I wish you wouldn’t be so clumsy”
then brought her a set of note books and an electronic planner that next week. At that moment she created a dream, A Dream that I Will fulfilled.

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