Community Blogger Nesha Finister discusses the love and loss of a close friend and fellow single mother named Cassie.
I grew up with Cassie’s family. Cassie was 5’11”, evenly golden brown, eyes shined like diamonds, legs as long as the Mississippi River and her body mimicked the curves of a coke bottle. Cassie was beautiful, athletic, and smart. Cassie was basically grown when I was a child. She left and went on to college and then law school becoming an attorney. Cassie married and worked as an attorney and became a mother for years before losing it all. Cassie succumbed to the pressures of drugs and a bad relationship with her husband. Her life spiraled out of control in a disarray of failed attempts to make her marriage work, kick the drug habit, and continue to be a mother to her daughter.
Cassie decided to pick up herself and her daughter and move back home. She had a support system there. She knew the environment she was raising her daughter in was toxic. She didn’t want that for her daughter. She no longer wanted the drugs for herself. She wanted to be whole again. She wanted to smile.
Cassie came back home broken, dilapidated, but her eyes had a glimmer of a twinkle. She had lost a severe amount of weight and was struggling to stay alive. She spent months in the hospital, upon her return, battling a MRSA infection.
Cassie fought her way back to health. During her initial battle for her health, Cassie and I reunited and bonded on the grounds of single motherhood and divorce. She was a source that I could vent to about the struggles of raising children alone. I listened to her struggles to come from the death that drugs and her divorce had made her life.
Cassie became my sister friend. We would meet up and drink wine and watch movies, talk for hours on the phone. Cassie’s laugh was infectious, contagious. Cassie was putting her life together one step at a time.
Cassie got a job at a local law firm and they helped her regain her license to practice law. She worked hard. Cassie enrolled her daughter into school and after school programs. She watched her daughter develop socially, spiritually, and physically. Her daughter was smiling, more open and ready for conversation unlike when she first moved back home.
Cassie job ended at the firm, but she was determined that was not the end of her career. She opened up her own small firm and was doing corporate law for local oil and gas companies. Cassie had pulled herself out of the murky depths of hell on earth and was now soaring above the skies of other’s doubt using her brilliance and new found tenacity to get her and her daughter above the death of what her life was. My sister friend had taken her life back. She was becoming a great asset to the community, volunteering in the church and even substitute teaching at the local school.
She showed our girls that the way that is isn’t the way that it has to be. Cassie’s struggle was giving beautiful ripe fruits. My sister friend was gaining more and more ground with her corporate law office and gaining respect when her health began to fail. Cassie’s gall bladder was removed in an emergency surgery. My sister friend thought that would be the end of it, but it was the beginning of the end for her. She went through multiple procedures, but to no avail.
Cassie left this earth on February 16, 2013.
Cassie left her daughter, her most precious possession, a legacy she can be proud of. Her mother was a beautiful brilliant soul. An innovator, a woman of substance, phenomenally made. I am forever grateful to her for allowing me to be her friend. For allowing me to see that second chances are real and start with forgiving yourself. Cassie taught me that my most important job was first and foremost being a mother to my children. I will forever love her. Her tenacity and awesome spirit will never be forgotten. She didn’t let her single mother status limit her, but used it to motivate her to greatness right until the end.
May we all have her strength to survive and leave a legacy for our children.
Nesha Finister is a 32-year-old single mother of an eleven-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy. A product of a single-parent home herself, Nesha unintentionally kept the tradition of single parenting going. She has a full-time job in the oilfield sector, which makes for a blue-collar lifestyle at work and a nurturing life at home. It is hard to be both roles, but she makes it work.