(an excerpt from “Warm Hugs for Dark Nights“)
“Too socially immature to advance.”
I smile as memories come flooding back,
How could the teacher’s glance
Detect the grit and determination
Embedded in this sweet creation?
Years flew by,
Her strengths emerged,
By high school twas clear,
Public speaking fueled her surge.
Awards, even national honors.
But compassionate spirit
Proved to be what conquers.
Ten years old, sent Dad to Desert Storm,
Leaving me notes of encouragement,
So true to her form.
The years post-war were a strain,
Domestic stress entered our lives.
War leaves scars unseen,
Only those under our roof heard our cries.
At fourteen, her parents divorced.
She stayed the course.
Waiting tables at fourteen,
Independence and college
Was her dream.
With grades, she struggled
Some even scoffed,
Her? attend college?
Still, education she sought.
A cruel incident hit.
Leaving Tabitha a victim,
Nearly killing her spirit.
I watched helplessly
As she fought battles within
To regain control of her life
And live as it had been.
Moving out on her own,
Three jobs and college classes.
Strength and grit amazing,
She fought back in masses.
Happiness came when she met Brad.
He wiped away all the sad.
As he approached college graduation
News came of upcoming baby celebration.
Seven months pregnant
The move came to be,
From West Tennessee.
600 miles away, I moved my child,
To become a mother,
Where weather’s mild.
Graduate Assistantship at VSU,
Beckoned Brad, and Tabi too.
One semester out, having Miss Ryleigh,
Then back to classes
I must give a smiley!
Her “can-do” attitude strong,
Dreams never lost
No matter what went wrong.
She is my hero, she says I’m hers.
Admiration shared by moms and daughters.
I smile as I witness the next generation.
Tabitha and Ryleigh share
The same inspiration.
By Shari Denise Bradberry
Daughter, Tabitha Denise (Bradberry) Herrin
Granddaughter, Ryleigh Denise Herrin
Moved to Murfreesboro
Christmas of 02’,
Both she and Brad
Enrolling at MTSU.
Dedication to Ryleigh
And also to Dreams,
They chose to become
A babysitting tag-team.
Work and studies,
Toddler and toys,
They knew that together
They’d reach their tassel joys.
She’s had only one dream
Since she was little,
Is now her Bachelor’s Title.
With pit-bull grit
She has made it to that
Now the Day is finally here
And we are all so proud
Of the shy little girl
Who loves the crowd.
She’s not had a free ride
She’s earned it every bit,
She’s shown all that know her
What it means to have
College Graduation, 2005
Just had to tell you the latest about Tabi. Hmmm… Tabi, now she’s such a professional lady named Tabitha Herrin but to me she will always be my little girl Tabi.
As most of you know, Tabi graduated from MTSU last spring in Murfreesboro,TN. She became employed at Randstad last August. Randstad isone of the largest temporary and contract staffing organizations in the world. They are leaders in matching demand and supply of labor and Human Resource services. Since Tabi began with Randstad she has interviewed, hired and fired workforce for warehouses in the Smyrna/ Murfreesboro area. The people they hire FOR are their “Clients”. The people they hire to work are called “Talents”. Tabi has maintained a wonderful relationship bonding both worlds of supply and demand between her Clients and her Talents.
Although they have many Clients, Nissan is one of their largest. To be employed at the Nissan plant at Smyrna one must be interviewed and hired through Randstad. Once Nissan is pleased with the “talent” they will hire them permanently.
Tabi has settled in well into her position. She has gained the respect of her Clients and the Talents that she hires. As long as they are working as a temporary through Randstad (their check even comes from Randstad) they must answer to her. She’s had to stand her ground and keep warehouse workers in line and I’m sure this becomes a challenge for her often. Once she was getting some flack from some workers and they were telling her she didn’t have a clue about what it was like and she fired right back at them to not EVEN go there, that she used to build lawnmowers! (MTD)
Tabi was hired in as a temporary herself and was told it usually takes about a year before they hire in as permanent (which includes raise/ benefits, etc.).
I had heard a few weeks (couple of Months?) ago that Nissan’s headquarters in CA was moving to Smyrna, TN. I’d asked Tabi if that would affect her and she said she didn’t really think so cause she didn’t work in the division that employed for Nissan.
Last Wednesday (Feb. 22nd) around 3:00pm Tabi’s bosses came in and told her to pack up her desk. They were moving her back to the home office in another area. They said the first division of the CA headquarters was about ready to come to TN and they wanted her (yes, HER!) to oversee supplying the workforce for it. This is the Call Center and customer relations division which employees approx. 200 people. Anyone who calls Nissan customer service or has a warranty issue calls this division. These people are professionals not warehouse workers and will be quite a transition for Tabi when interviewing, overseeing, hiring and in some cases, firing (I call her my little Tabi-Trump, which she is not fond of).
So, after only 6 months she is now employed with a permanent position with all the benefit bells & whistles and will be branch manager over the call center division of Nissan. I just think that is SOOOOO cool!!!! Needless to say I am SOOOO proud of her!!!! I’m usually not one of those Mothers that run around bragging about their kids as if they are perfect but I just have to give credit where credit is due here. Tabi has struggled to get into college, stay in college, focus on her family life, raise a child, build a new house, & graduate from college and now she is exceeding like gang busters in the corporate world and this redneck mom is just elated!
And this was the little girl who her kindergarten teacher didn’t want her to advance to the first grade with the rest of the class because she felt Tabitha was too immature, timid and shy to make it in first grade. It is also the same girl who broke the county record of taking the ACT test till she finally scored high enough to PASS!!!! Yes, PASS! Not get this high score or that high score… PASS!!!! I think she ended up taking it something like 11 or 13 times.
Sorry, I’m just as sorry as I can be but I just had to share this wonderful news with my friends.
(aka redneck mom)
August, 2008 Update
Tabitha has excelled in her career in the corporate world and daily amazes me with her patience as mommy of two (adorable) children. This past spring she began mentioning her desire to go back to school and get her Masters. Her focus is to teach Family & Consumer Science and Business Finance on the high school or college level (!). She began classes this fall (while holding down a full time job and raising a family!) and has already had teaching opportunities offered to her. For now, she’s content to focus on her classes and let teaching come in the near future.
This woman who I’m so proud to call my daughter, never ceases to amaze me!
“That is too nice. By your page, it looks like I have done a lot. But honestly, I do not feel like I have accomplished enough. I am always looking for the next level. Maybe it is because I slacked so much in school that I feel like I need to make up for it. I can not wait to be content! (Right Now) school is not that hard. Time is the only thing I need. All you have to do is think. If you are doing something you love, most of the time it comes easily.
I just want the best thing for my children. Back when I had Ryleigh, all I could think of is climbing the corp ladder and bettering myself. I was selfish. Now, all I can think of is how can I provide the best for my children but be able to give them what they need. Example, not have to go to the babysitter after school, on holidays, spring break, fall break, Christmas break, summer break, ect.. Brad was so lucky to have that time with his family. I think at times he took it for granted. Now he sees our children on how I was raised (which was not bad), but if I can provide that time to them, it would be more beneficial for them. It would be a luxury for them. I only hope that one day they will know what we have gone through for them. They will not care probably until they are 28 years old looking back…maybe one day, just maybe…”
Tabitha Denise Bradberry Herrin received her Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction. MEDC with emphasis in Family & Consumer Sciences. (Under grad BS in organizational communications) 466 student teachers at MTSU. At the awards banquet she received Outstanding Student Teacher for FACS 2011. She was 1 of 36 FACS students.
Tabitha now teaches in Rutherford Co.
She recently had this to say:
” I’m thankful for my job. I absolutely love being a teacher. I love my content, my co-workers, my admin, and my students. I can truly and honestly say it does not feel like work. Even with crazy schedules, evaluations, and all the other grunt work of education. I am so grateful that God pointed me in this direction.”
July 2013 update: I continue to be amazed at this daughter of mine. She was just awarded the “New Professional Award” from TATFACS (Tennessee Association for Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences.) She was also nominated to be the Membership Chairman of TATFACS. Her Principal, Mr. Larry Creasy, was awarded principal of the year for being so supportive to the FACS education program.
Update: Summer 2014
Tabitha worked diligently with her students all year. Five of her students competed in the state FCCLA competitions and four earned the opportunity to compete in the National competitions. To raise money for the trip Tabitha orchestrated the first Pageant at the middle school where she teaches. Oh MY! it was such a success!
Tabitha’s team just returned from the National competitions in San Antonio, TX where three of her four students brought home medals. Two silver and one gold. Not only am I proud of my daughter, but one of those silver medals was earned my my sweet granddaughter, Ryleigh.