Shining STAR Galynn Lindemann
It’s Never Too Late…..You’re Never Too Old
By Bette Price
Meesha Robinson: Overcoming Unbelievable Circumstances
“I shouldn’t even be alive,” says 44-year-old mother of twelve, Meesha Robinson. But she is and thanks to her fortitude and educational scholarships she’s well on her way to a new, more healthy and prosperous life.
Meesha’s life began with major challenges which continued through much of her adult life. Her mother was a mere baby herself, the mother of three children at only age 16. “At the time she probably did her best,” Meesha tries to justify, but her best did little to provide a safe and secure childhood for Meesha or her brothers.
”My mother was a drug addict, my father was in prison and my brothers and I lived a troubled life,” Meesha explained. Thus they grew up in foster care; a life that itself was often difficult and abusive. As a result, as Meesha approached adulthood she herself made some bad choices.
By age 18 she was married, living in California and within years had given birth to twelve children. Yes….that’s TWELVE children; eight sons and four daughters. Throughout the years the marriage was rocky to say the least.
“We were both young and he wasn’t really interested in being a husband,” Meesha said. “He was chasing a music career at the time.” As a result they moved around a lot to different cities, eventually ending up in Chicago, which was her husband’s hometown.
“He wanted to be in music, I wanted to be a parent, go back to school and he was not supportive of that. So he left and I continued to take care of my children without him.” But unfortunately life didn’t get any better. Instead of going back to school Meesha got into relationships that turned out to be physically abusive. So abusive that at one point she jumped out of a window to escape and broke both legs. She later made the difficult decision to leave. Despite not knowing exactly how she would do it, Meesha realized that she had to do something different if her life was going to change.
“I prayed about it and once I did I felt the need to move to Texas,” she said. She packed up everything she could and she and the children escaped the violence, ending up in Dallas. There she and the children stayed in a Budget Suites for a year. Although she applied for numerous jobs she said in the end, no one would hire her. Fortunately, her 18 year-old daughter and 21 year-old son both worked which enabled her to stay at home and care for the rest of the children, four whom have delayed mental issues.
Meesha and her children have now been in Texas for six years and despite incurring homelessness and numerous life challenges she has managed to finally accomplish her educational dream; first by attending a community college and earning an Associates Degree of Arts with honors. Two years later, with the help of her EWL (Empowering Women as Leaders) scholarship, she transferred to Texas Women’s University where she is majoring in English and minoring in biology and chemistry. She is currently an Honors student maintaining a 3.5 average. Through a Catholic Charities program she and eight of her children—ages 17, 16, 14, 12, 11,9, 8 and 6—have been provided housing. So life today is certainly much different than ten years ago.
“Way different!” she says. “Ten years ago I was escaping severe domestic violence, I was homeless. Now I’m starting to find my path to leadership, academics and a safer better path as a mom. My life is truly different than ten years ago--way different.
“Without opportunities like EWL I wouldn’t have anything right now,” she says. “I’m really grateful to the opportunities to have this much different life.”
Meesha’s ultimate goal is to become a physician. She has not yet decided what specific type of a physician she would like to be, but she is drawn to women’s health and epidemiology.
So, does that future include the possibility of getting married again? “I hope so,” she says with a bit of hesitancy. “I would love to be married. Have I made better choices? Yes. My future and my life depend on it.
“I’m hoping and praying that one day God will bless me with a man and I’ll be married—but we’ll see. Right now, it’s just me, the kids and the books.”