Friday, July 10, 2009

Another joy, a lovely daughter

Time for the second of three installments on my children.
I know Amy is mine, we look the most alike of my children, we are driven and competitive in the same way(well, ok she much more than me)and both have taken many daring roads with our hair over the years, though we might have to throw Brian into the family mix here, too. We fret over things and wonder with envy at those who do little fretting. We both chose life partners (her lovely Rachel, who is graphic designer extraordinaire, who is designing my web page!)who fall into that mysterious category. We both like to travel and experience new things. We get a lot out of life and I think life gets a lot out of us, too. She's a wonderful, doting auntie.
She was born 5 weeks early, a Saturday morning surprise. But, still weighed in at a reasonable 5lbs 7oz, which seemed big for a preemie but when her brothers were born I understood, both were over 9 lbs. Her name is Amelia Shaw, but it seemed way to big for this little bitty thing that fit between my crooked palm and elbow, so "Amy" seemed right.
She went off to Western KY University to get a Bachelors in Nursing and never came home, hardly, even for a summer. Left there and headed to Washington, DC to do an internship at the National Institutes of Health, stayed another 2 1/2 years there and went to work for a non-profit homeless clinic, SOME,in the heart of DC. She wrote an article for a public health journal with the doctor she worked with there. She champions the forgotten and ignored. She left there for graduate school in Seattle (could she go further from home? -yes, but let's not encourage her) studying Public Health. Finished that up last summer and immediately went into a doctoral program in the nursing school at UW. This week she finished interviewing for a university-wide two-year HIV fellowship, her area of study. She also applied for a NINR-funded T32 training grant (don't even ask what it stands for) from UW that was chosen by the nursing faculty. She received that one and withdrew her name from the other. So, she will be a biobehavioral nursing fellow for the next two years. Really nice that she will be paid to go to school, have full tuition and expenses, too. Best of all, not have to work, which she has done most all of her education. Being a single mom for almost all of their lives, college was at their expense for the most part. I've always wished that was different.
She did short-term volunteer work in Florida after Hurricane Andrew at 16 or 17 and short-term mission work in Jamaica. She went to Africa two years ago and did work and research in Uganda. She applies for anything and everything where someone else will pay her to go somewhere interesting. She was a finalist two years ago for Nick Kristof's ( NY Times) Win a Trip contest. She didn't win but went to Africa anyway, wrote him and he wrote about her later again, on his blog. She wanted to go to Europe after her junior year in college (good luck with that) and wrote a paper for the International Nurses Conference that happened to be meeting in London that year. They accepted it for presentation by a student. They paid her way and let her fly early and leave late. She traveled around and gave her paper and met bigwigs from the WHO and CDC, she was 21 that summer, I think her 21st birthday may have been in Europe.
Just a little glimpse of this wonderful, caring woman who I, luckily, call "daughter".
I think I'll call her now....


sue said...

She is so so so so your daughter!! She is amazing, and from reading this I see she always has been. Only a home where she was deeply loved would have given her the audacity to put herself out there to get where she is and where she's headed. She is a treasure, like her mom. What a wonderful tribute.

ArtCricket2 said...

Sue, you are the sweetest!

donna said...

I want a daughter and I want her to be exactly like your lovely Amy. I didn't take a breath while reading this was so touching. And you know what, if you'd given her a free ride through college, she might not be the woman she is today. It was a pleasure to read this.

Lindalou said...

What a remarkable daughter. I am always amazed by those kids who seem to have a motivation and drive that almost can't be explained. You sound very you should be.