God blessed my obedience by touching the heart of one recruiter that was impressed that I completed school while being pregnant. Thankfully he was from HP! He said they needed someone like me that had technical skills and good people skills. I gladly accepted their $30,000 offer. That was a lot of money in the 80s especially since I didn’t have a student loan to pay off. I was so excited to move all the way to California even though my parents thought differently. They suggested I leave my baby with them until I got settled in. I did not agree because I love my son and he is my inspiration to be more responsible.
HP paid for movers to pack up my bedroom and fly me and my baby to California. They even found a roommate for me to live with. She was also a single mother that worked for HP and she was active with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. I was interested in that sorority when I was at Howard but I couldn’t pledge due to my scholarship. I finally pledged with the San Jose Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta in Fall 1989.
On October 17, 1989 after only living in the Bay Area for a couple of months, I was welcomed with the Loma Prieta earthquake. It occurred at 5:04 pm so I was still at work and I remember being told to get under a desk. All I could think about was the safety of my baby. Praise God when I was finally able to make it to his daycare, he was fine. However, we were both still pretty “shaken up” for a few weeks afterwards.
I enjoyed working for HP. I received a lot of promotions because I accepted many challenges and was a high performer. I had the opportunity to participate in a lot of training and mentoring. I was given many special projects because I am self-motivated and an independent worker. I traveled to Japan twice and bought a timeshare in Hawaii.
Leap into Marriage
So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5
In 1990 when my son was 3 and I was still in my early twenties, after working and partying as a single mother for a few years, I was thinking about settling down. I wanted companionship because I thought I was a good catch, cute, confident, had cash, and good credit. Instead of patiently waiting on God to send me a husband, I found my own. He was in the process of getting a divorce, lived with his mother and had custody of his three young children – an 8 year old boy, a 4 year old girl, and a 2 year old girl. My mother warned me but “I was in love.”
We raised our boys together and let his ex-wife raise the girls. We bought a small condo and lived together for 3 years. We were active members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose with Rev. Willie T. Gaines. After hearing the traditional sermon about "living in sin," we were finally convicted to get married in 1993. Now I was ready and yearned to have another child. Even though I was out of the will of God, He still showed me mercy and favor by blessing us with our beautiful, sweet daughter, Jairese in 1994.