GREENVILLE —Realizing how important life is, Brenda Wallace was forced to change her outlook on life after facing some critical health issues five years ago.
She underwent a total knee replacement, which was followed by complications from that original operation and numerous additional surgeries, ending up with a leg amputation in April 2014.
Wallace’s mind was also set on other avenues in her life, including the education she didn’t follow through on as a teenager as she became pregnant in 1968 and dropped out of school two years before she should have graduated.
After eight months of study, she recently received her General Educational Development (GED) diploma through Stratford Career Institute, an online course she enrolled in at home.
So, after being out of school for 47 years, she is now a graduate and, as per her bucket list, she held a graduation party for herself Saturday afternoon at Trinity Wesleyan Church in Greenville.
Family, friends, former classmates and other well-wishers dropped by during the three-hour period and congratulated her for her achievement.
She considers the GED her biggest accomplishment. And, so did those in attendance.
Wallace, the former Brenda Moran, said she attended Franklin Monroe School until eighth grade and then became a student in Greenville City Schools.
One of her classmates from Franklin Monroe, Sandy Foland Rice, stopped by to wish her well in future endeavors as did classmates from the Class of 1970 from Greenville. They were Carol Gower Fasnacht, Carol Hosbrook Cole, Janice Klosterman Mills and Nellie Swank Smith.
Refreshments and decorations [including Class of 2015 balloons] were featured at the party.
And, there was Wallace dressed in her white cap and gown. Nearby was the framed diploma.
Yes, Wallace has shown her strong will throughout these ordeals, and persevered.
“If others can do it, I can do it,” she has been heard to say. “Nobody has been in my shoes, only me. God was not ready for me to leave yet. He’s got many, many plans for me.”
And, Wallace is not done with her bucket list either. Now, she would like to take college courses and get a job, perhaps in a hospital environment.
“I appreciate everybody for coming to my party,” she said. “It made my day to the fullest. I was so overly surprised with this big of a turnout.”