Thanks to Ashiki Lewis of Bluffton for sharing the story of her unusual connection to a promising young lady named Morgan C. Haynes.
"DO YOU BELIEVE IN ANGELS?"
By Ashiki Lewis
I ask the question, "Does anyone believe in angels?"
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On Oct. 22, I was able to put a face with my angel's wings. I attended a luncheon at the University of South Carolina Beaufort's south campus for 2010-11 scholarship recipients. I walked in with no expectations, not knowing how the event would go. I believed I would have lunch and someone would stand and read all the recipients' names and the name of the scholarship we received. I was not aware of the blessing I was about to receive.
I was greeted by M.J. Simmons of the university as I entered the room. She gave me a name tag and proceeded to tell me about the family who donated this wonderful gift to me. And she told me the whole family would be coming. I knew I would receive the Morgan C. Haynes Memorial Scholarship. I would be told it took 10 years to place this scholarship in the right hands.
My story could be long, but I will provide the short version: I am a single mother of two beautiful children. I've worked in the Beaufort County School District for two years as a teacher's assistant. I have an associate's degree, but needed to go back to school for three more semesters to receive my bachelor's degree.
Although I knew this is what I needed to do, I was hesitant and discouraged. I had the grades but didn't know if I would have enough money to continue my studies.
I was at a point where I was going to give up and just continue to work to support my children. Although I worked with children in pre-kindergarten through first grade, my ultimate goal has always been to be an art teacher. I just didn't believe wanting to be an art teacher would be enough to get me where I needed to be.
Just when I was about to throw in the towel, I received a letter in the mail congratulating me for being the recipient of the Morgan C. Haynes Memorial Scholarship.
I was ecstatic, but it would not be until Oct. 22 that I would find out that it was because of an angel whose earthly life was snipped away so suddenly that I would have the opportunity to finish what I started and continue to be a role model for my children.
Morgan Haynes applied to USCB with the hopes of becoming an art teacher. Morgan did not get the chance to fulfill her dream. She was killed in an accident in 1999, just before she was to start college.
God took a tragedy and turned it into a blessing.
I met Morgan's mother, Paula Sherman of Florida, and Morgan's grandmother, Doris Heard of Beaufort. Her grandfather, Harry Heard, was unable to be there, but two of Morgan's uncles and her mother's best friend were there. I was blessed that day. There were tears of joy and happiness all around.
After having lunch together and getting to know each other, Morgan's mother and I found out just how connected we really were. Mrs. Sherman handed me a business card to keep in touch so she could attend my graduation, and there was an image of a ladybug on her card. I told her how much I loved ladybugs and butterflies. I revealed that I have a ladybug tattoo on my hip and a butterfly on my ankle. Mrs. Sherman has a butterfly on her hip and a ladybug on the top of her foot. Morgan also had a ladybug on the top of her foot, and her baby brother has a ladybug tattoo also.
Morgan chose me to receive this wonderful scholarship that I may be able to continue "our" dream.
This is the reason I believe in angels, and my angel is Morgan C. Haynes. She will be with me always. I will make you proud, Morgan.
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