Don’t quit.

That's my mama!
Dr. Annie C. Redd (a.k.a. my mama!!!) beaming on her graduation day, June 12, 2015.

Simply put: My mom is a badass.

Thirty years after earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration, she went back to school to earn her MBA. (We were actually in grad school at the same time–funners.) But where I was hell-bent on never stepping foot into another classroom after my master’s sentence experience was completed, my mom saw her time in the pen grad school as just a warm-up.

In 2010, she went back to school (again) to complete the academia trifecta. The doctorate was calling her name and she listened. She also worried.

What have I gotten myself into? 

I don’t recall her sharing this sentiment out loud too often, but I can recall countless times when I saw it written all over her face. Her face, which stared at textbooks and computer screens well into the dawn. Her face, which showed her desperation in trying to make sense of data and standard deviations. Her face, which would tilt forward and suspend gracefully in mid-air as she power-napped.

And yet, no matter what she and her face faced, she continued to listen.

Now, I don’t know what a doctorate sounds like. (And I’m not certain I want to find out either.) But if I had to venture a guess, my guess would be that it sounds something like the poem she posted to the refrigerator and used as her hearing aid when the doctorate’s pitch seemed to be out of tune with her’s:

“When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

“Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

“Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

“Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are –
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.”

~Author unknown

meandma

You heard the call, Ma, and you answered it incredibly. Even when things seemed to be at their worst, you continued to listen and did not quit. Congratulations to you and thank you for being my badass mom!

Copyright © 2014-2016 Stephanie Rochelle Redd. All rights reserved.

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One thought on “Don’t quit.

  1. She rocks and I’m sooo proud of her. I’m going to make it my business to refer to her as Dr. Redd as much as possible and hopefully too frequently! She did that!!! 👏🏾😻🙌🏾

    Liked by 1 person

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