It took me far too long to write this farewell. At first I thought I was guilty of procrastination. Then I thought I had writer’s block. But, when I finally sat down I realized that I simply did not want to say goodbye. The Mrs. and Miss Maryland International organization has become my family. They have supported me from the beginning of my journey until now, and I know that they will continue to support me until the end when I crown my successor in Skokie, Illinois.
To DeShawn, Thank You. Thank you for all of the encouraging notes and pep talks. I have saved everything that you have ever written to me. Your words are powerful and at times have given me much needed strength and encouragement. You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. But, most of all thank you for always being there. You are always a phone call, email or text away and that means the world to me. I wish that all titleholders could experience what it is like to have a director like you. Sometimes I feel that I have had an unfair advantage because after all, how could I not succeed with someone like you in my corner. You work so hard and I want you to know that we appreciate everything that you do. We appreciate the sacrifices that you make for us and we appreciate the sacrifices made by your family. They sacrifice their most precious commodity, time with you, so that we can share in the DeShawn magic.
To Sandra, thank you for becoming my mentor. Thank you for challenging me to put words into action and to be an active and engaged queen. You have a heart of gold and I have learned so much from you. My reign would not have been the same without you. And…thank you for the laughs. We are indeed Lucy and Ethel in crowns and I will never forget our antics.
To my family, thank you for loving me and believing in me. Everyone deserves a family like you all. My family will, and has flown all over the world to cheer me on. They also will make me do the dishes when I come home, just so that I don’t forget that the crown matters not at 23319 Silver Dust Lane. My one goal has to make you all proud and I hope that I have done that. To my ever so patient boyfriend, Mr. Wyatt, thank you for hanging in there. This has been just as much your journey as it has been mine. There were times when you felt the weight of the crown as much as I did. So thank you for your love, guidance and perspective.
To my team, Tracey Jamison, Deanna McCray James and Hassana, you guys are the greatest! I owe 40% of my score at Nationals to you Tracey. Deanna, thank your for keeping the appearances coming and for the laughter. Hassana, thank you for teaching me how to do the coveted “Hassana Makeup” and most of all for my MAC spiked eyebrow pencil…DeShawn thanks you too ;)
Last but certainly not least, thank you to all of the people that I have had the privilege to meet as Miss Maryland International. My passion for literacy is what led me to the International System. I saw this as a way to promote a cause that was dear to my heart and that was relevant to all of our lives. I thought that I would teach Maryland about literacy education however, Maryland taught me about the beauty of the human spirit, the importance of volunteerism and most importantly, that all it takes is a moment and a word of kindness to touch a person’s heart and possibly change the course of their life.
All the best,
Miss Maryland International 2011
Miss International 2011