By Angela

Before the Accident

In 2004, Angela was a 46-years-old, divorced, mother of two. Calli, her youngest daughter was living at home; she was 17, in her senior year of high school. Carissa, Angela’s oldest daughter, was living about 800 miles away, attending her junior year of college in the same state where her father resided. Mary, Angela’s sister, and her son, Parker, age 6, were living with Angela and had since Parker was 6 months old. Angela had been divorced for about 10 years during which

time she physically raised her daughters alone.

Education: In a class of about 400 students, Angela graduated as salutatorian, 2nd in her class. Straight from high school, she enrolled in college 80 miles from her parents’ home and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in psychology. She graduated cum laude with a 3.78 and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After moving away from the area and living on her own for about 4 years and then marrying, she enrolled into a graduate school of social work. She obtained a Masters in Social Work specializing in parent education, graduating with a 3.76.

Angela did well in school, because she loved to learn. She also believed that an education was the only way to escape a life of emotional abuse from living with three adult alcoholics and the high probability of repeating dysfunctional family patterns. While her mother had gone to college for about a year and her father eventually attained an associates degree after years of night school, Angela was the first and only in her family to obtain a bachelor’s degree and beyond.

When she first told her parents of her intentions to go to college, her father’s response was: “Why do you want to do that? You just need to find a man to marry who will take care of you.” He informed Angela that he did not make enough money to help send her to college. Determined not to be dissuaded, she worked while attending college and during the summers. She was able to complete undergraduate school without owing anyone any money.

When she was first accepted into graduate school, Angela received the unexpected news that she was pregnant. Her first college advisor recommended that she complete the program in at least three years or more, rather than the typical two years since she was due to deliver during the middle of the semester which would present a problem with completing her practicum. She found another advisor who believed that she could complete graduate school in the typical amount of time. Angela only missed one week of graduate school to have her baby.

The significance of this is to point out that Angela was able to function exceptionally well and consistently during very stressful circumstances.

Work: Angela began working during the summers between high school and college and while she was enrolled full-time in college. She worked after graduating from college and moving away from home, and again when she moved once again when she married. To reduce the costs of school loans for graduate school, she worked as long as she could while pregnant and while enrolled full-time in graduate school. As soon as she graduated, she worked as an instructor at two local community colleges until the birth of their second daughter which was also when her husband made a career change, causing them to move clear across the US.

Angela did take off working for a short period of time. As Calli turned a year old, Angela started contracting with organizations to do some parent education programs. Soon afterwards, she started a publishing company, determined to write and publish a book about resources for families and children. Her book was instrumental in a job offer to implement and coordinate an early childhood/parent education program. A few years later, she went to work for another school district closer to her home doing the same job; she worked here for 12 years.

One of Angela’s professional passions was designing and conducting workshops and trainings for early childhood and parent educators. Expanding on what she developed and learned while working on her professional skills, she enjoyed presenting at local, state and national conferences. In fact, right before her brain injury, she had an overwhelming positive response to a presentation she had done at several conferences. She was in the process of talking with a publisher who was interested in a book she was writing with the assistance of a colleague.

Hobbies: Angela had many and diverse hobbies and interests. These included: Native American spiritualism and studies, growing perennials & medicinal herbs, learning about wildlife, nature, animal studies, rocks, photography, sewing, scrapbooking, reading and learning and travelling, meditation and metaphysical studies. Not only did she do a great deal of reading on these subjects, she also attended classes, special events and traveled to learn about the things which interested her.

© Angela Cramer, 2008

2nd Photo: © Angela Cramer, 2008


1 Response to “Before the Accident”

  1. 1 Kim Parra
    February 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Dear Angela,

    I read some of your writings and I am taking care of a woman with brain injuries as well. She has had to fight to get everything she deserves and I think you two have alot in common–she has some simular symptoms that she has to deal with and some of your same interests. I will talk to her about your site and maybe you could share information. I think that we should have more support groups and I think it is great that you are trying to find a way to share in a most positive way.
    God Bless

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