1st Annual Cherry Mae Reynolds Christmas Hope

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For  the past few months I have spoken to my mother in regards to creating a Caribbean themed event in Atlanta where the proceeds go to an Aids organization.  After a long debate, we  have decided to purchase Christmas gifts for the kids of the infectious disease unit of Grady Hospital. She was even going to come down and help work the event. We even decided to have her prepare rum cakes to put inside of the VIP gift boxes the day before she passed….

So my family decided to instead of asking people to send flowers for the funeral, we are requesting for people to donate money towards purchasing presents for the  hospital. Since she passed November 10, 2015 during the holidays, we have decided to pick a different county hospital in different cities and do the same thing every year.

The 1st annual Cherry May Reynolds Christmas Hope fund was a success! We raised 725 in total allowing us to purchase gifts for 41 children ages 3-17.

We shopped at several different stores but we started off at Care Mart. For every hundred dollars spent in this store provided cared for a family of 4 including their utilities. We were able to provide for 8 people on our first run shopping!

 

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                 The breakdown of Care Mart

 

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We purchased 41 gifts for the children ages 3-17.

 

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Dropping off gifts to the social workers of the Infectious Disease Clinic of Grady Hospital!

 

 

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Letting Go and Letting God

The day my first born turned sixteen, so many fears loomed in my heart.  She was finally allowed to have a boyfriend, she was legal to get her license, and it was when she declared that she wanted to go out-of-state to college.  She said that she wanted to go to a Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) but because of her track record, I wasn’t all the way confident in this decision.  Due to the fact that I was a teen mother, Destani has always been glued to my side.  I would always tell her that she was my motivation to succeed, and that she was going to have the same life that her friends did whose parents could have been my parents.  We went through every obstacle together, my best friend, and in turn she is a Mommy’s girl.  Now that I am on tour, if I am away from her too long she is calling declaring how much she misses me.  When she is sick, sad, and/or hurt she curls up in my bed with her stuffed animal “Bunny” and waits for me to fix it. This is why I had reservations about her being away from me.

Now here we are, 1425 miles away from home and buying last-minute items needed for her college dormitory.  My feelings are all over the place.  I am proud that she got accepted into 9 universities and had the privilege to decide which one that she wanted to attend. I was excited that she was being responsible and assisting me with getting everything together.  I was just scared out of my mind that I was about to leave her.  My body shook as I helped her unpack and get her room together.  The reality was hitting me that I was going to leave my baby!

I stayed in Texas for several days trying to make sure that everything was finalized before I left.  My last day was approaching quickly, and we both were dreading it.  It was just as hard for her as it was for me, and everyone around us could see it.  We both were secretly shedding tears so that the other wouldn’t see, but you could see the pain in both of our eyes.  When I woke up that last day, I had a knot in my stomach.  I went into the bathroom and cried, not wanting my youngest daughter to know I wasn’t okay.  I fell to my knees and prayed to God that he would continue to watch over my baby and protect her.

Once I got myself together, I woke Diamond up, and told her to start getting herself together so we could head back home.  I went around the room making sure that everything was in order when I heard my text message notification go off.  It was a message from Destani.  The message read as follows:

Mommy, you raised me to be strong. If I don’t like it I will come home, but I am going to try for at least a semester. You instilled a lot of  courage, strength, and survival skills into me. I am proud that you have went after your dreams. Now it is my time to make you proud. I love you.

The words that I read was a confirmation that I needed to let go and let God.  I did raise her to be a magnificent young lady.  She has made me proud on so many levels. I taught her right from wrong, but have always been open and honest with her.  I let her know of my mistakes and downfalls. I showed her that with her hard work, perseverance, and constant prayer that anything was possible.

After reading her very mature words, I thought of all the times in her life that she has brought a smile to my face. Now it is her time to implement all of the knowledge that I gave her.  I know that life is not perfect and she will have some obstacles along the way, but I am confident that she will continue to succeed.

This is my tribute to my baby girl…. 

I love you Destani Imani

Once upon a time when she was young……

My diva at prom

Hugging my baby for the first time after graduation.

Excited that she graduated

Dropping her off at her dorm room for the last time.

Destani and Bunny’s first night in college

My baby is officially a college freshman.