Mom & Makenzie

There are times when I feel overwhelmed with the power and beauty of an extraordinary experience. This week there was just such an occasion with my Mom. During recent visits with her, she expressed an interest in visiting the law school. Though it seems like a small request, it requires taking care of all the logistics (transportation and access) and that she have a good day. It all came together for one amazing moment. Mom arrived, with the loving care and assistance of Kayla, her terrific caregiver. We had both prepped Mom for the day, encouraging her and sharing her enthusiasm for the visit. We hoped for the best when the day came. Kayla arrived early to fancy Mom up for her visit. and she was in a great mood when she arrived at the law school. We stopped to visit with a number of colleagues as she rolled through the building. They were all kind and welcoming, and Mom enjoyed the attention, charming all with her warmth and good humor.

The highlight of the day was for Mom to meet Makenzie Arnold-Hillard, a third year law student who holds the Eual Dean (Dad) & Fern Nance (Mom) Social Justice Scholarship. Makenzie is a first generation law student who has taken a position with Legal Service upon graduation. Photo: Mom meets Makenzie  Arnold-Hillard, the wonderful 1st generation law student/future Legal Services Lawyer who holds the scholarship named for Mom & Dad. No words for the power of this moment.

She visited with Mom, described her background, and told Mom that she was raised to help others, and was committed to doing so. Then she thanked Mom for the opportunity to meet with her and thanked her for the scholarship assistance. When Makenzie told Mom about her post-graduation plans, Mom said, “That’s really hard, to work for poor people. Thank you for doing that. Bless you. I am proud of you.” I can not tell you what an amazing moment that was. It is one I will always treasure, and which was a blessing to experience. After they visited for a while, we went upstairs, to the Hall of Deans, so Mom could see my portrait. I could describe that moment but as the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Mom in the Hall of Deans