MY LIFE AS A PARENT My mother, Joyce, was a single parent which forced her to work a lot of hours at Veteran’s Administration Hospital as a ward clerk in Van Nuys, California. I, Kimberly at the age of 11, was put in a position to be a parent before I even was one myself. My childhood was ripped away from me due to me having to babysit and do household chores for my younger sister, Tiffany, while our mother provided a living for us both. I remember some of the good old times when Sunday would come for church and we would get up then start our normal daily routine.

I would have to cut up several whole chickens and peel ten lb. bags of potatoes, so that we would have dinner for the congregation after church service. My mother Joyce would make batches of golden fried chicken that was very mouthwatering when you’d bite into it the meat it would fall off the bones. Now the potato salad was so scrumptious that you would be licking your fingers and that was so good that I still make the traditional fried chicken and potato salad ‘til this day.

Now I had my first son, Corey, at 14 years old, Ryan 16, Jasmine 18, Darin 20, Ochea 24, and Trevon 26. I am a proud mother of six beautiful and healthy children which they all have their own personalities, but that’s another whole chapter because every child is unique in their own way. My second to the oldest, Ryan, is currently serving in the United States Army and not a day goes by I would ever regret of giving birth to him. There have been times in my life when I had challenges and struggles, but always managed to overcome them.

There has also never been a day in my life to where my children and I were homeless in the streets with nowhere to go or live in a shelter for that matter. Back in the year 2000, when we had a recession, I lost my job at Washington Mutual Bank as a production administrator representative in Chatsworth, California. As a result, I was evicted and my car was repossessed, so encountering that led me to go to Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California to better my education and more job stability was my goal.

I am truly blessed because even though my dream as becoming an actress has never come to pass I am a loving mother and grandmother as well. I have three grandchildren, and Caleb is the closest to me and he currently resides with me now. Family is such a blessing to have and anyone who has experienced being a parent knows both the pain and joy that comes along with it. I love the choice that was made by me to return back to school. Every day I wake up and get dressed for school makes me feel like a kid at heart all over again.

When I go to class it’s just a positive feeling and interacting with other students also makes it even more intriguing because it’s just like best friends in junior high school to me. Vicky, Sarah, Debra, Dominique, and I all get into our group session every Monday through Thursday from six to eight forty p. m. and study then talk about positive things; such as our jobs once we graduate, how going to school will help us with a better paying job, and just that thought of not being alone regardless of your circumstances.

My classmates are very dear to me, we call one another for questions about assignments and that is better that a tutor any given day because having common interests with a classmate is better than a stranger. I have been attending school for two semesters now and I have received so much positive feedback from other students that will help you such as; sites for getting cheaper textbooks compared to the bookstore, rating your teacher so you won’t get one that will fail you without knowing their credentials, and other successful tools that made me feel so relieved.

I also didn’t mention while at the communication lab a student worker gave me additional tips that would help me since I’m taking online classes, and I would’ve never found that information out on my own. I have been in Las Vegas, Nevada for six years now and the reason for me relocating here was a new change and a better environment for my children. The only thing that I miss from California is that they have a lot of programs and summer activities for children unlike Las Vegas.

The best thing that I am so proud of is my children and my youngest two boys are both in magnet school where ochea wants to become a detective and trevon wants to become a gourmet chef. My daughter Jasmine just graduated and received an associate’s degree in real estate while my other son Darin is currently working part-time while attending school to become an engineer. My oldest son, Corey, is an entrepreneur but I continue to support him because as long as you put forth your best effort you can be successful no matter what.

Not a day goes by I wake up and hear my grandson, Caleb knock on my door and say “Grandma, good morning! ” That is priceless and he is so precious and I’m honored to be a grandmother. There are so many people dying like flies now a days-look at all of our celebrities that I loved dearly that have passed over the years; Patrick Swayze, Farrah Faucett, Tina Marie, Rick James, Notorious Bigg, Tupac, Elvis Presley and the king of pop Michael Jackson. Tomorrow is not promised to none of us so everyone should treasure their loved ones whether it maybe children or close friends.

If you do not have a close bond with that special someone and a fatal tragedy causes them their life then you would be left sobbing, sleepless at night all because you didn’t get a chance to cherish those final moments with them. My grandmother, Helen Miller meant the world to me and when she passed I went into a serious depressing state. I can still picture her playing her sweepstakes saying, “Kim I’m going to win some money so I can buy you and your boys a home. ’ I cry at times because my grandmother was so kind and she was taken away from me at Sunrise Hospital back in 2005 off of life support without any medical consent. I sometimes wonder, “Why my grandmother? ” I get teary eyed just thinking of my grandmother and all I can do is look at her photo and treasure a few memorables in memory of her as well. My heart goes out to the people who are less fortunate of not having children. Because a child is a special gift to anyone and you can mention parenthood, but you have to live it to understand all of the advantages of being a parent.

There are times I just want to leave because my children get on my nerves and there are times where we sit down and play poker or watch a movie and talk as a family. Being a mother, grandmother, and single parent has made me a stronger woman and you can’t go through life’s experiences without having trial and tribulations. I do struggle a times but I wouldn’t change any of my choices because I truly love my family and they mean the world to me. When I feel that I can’t make it I pray to god because we all turn to him in good and bad times. Amen!

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