Peace begins with a smile.

~ Mother Teresa

Gain Peace of Mind & Courage Embrace Life Once Again

My name is

Quinea

Anyone who knows me will share that I am usually wearing a smile. It is natural, genuine and quite spontaneous. Often it has been said that it was my smile that opened doors of opportunity and that it has warmed the spirit of others in a general greeting or approach.

While, this kind and welcoming outward expression truly comes from within, there are many challenging life experiences filed behind it.

Experienced and licensed as might be required, I have had several careers in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area – some not so great and others that I have really enjoyed. No career was really like any other. This wasn’t career progression in the same industry.

Every place that I worked was something new and fed my need for change and challenge. But each was also met with a bit of fear, wondering if I would be successful, if I knew enough, had the right skill sets or the ability to learn, grow and be of value in the new role.

Some of my career experiences include: Federal government (procurement clerk, EEO assistant); licensed Cosmetologist and Senior Cosmetologist Salon Manager; Assistant General Property Manager; Assistant to Elected Officials; Human Resources Specialist for Public Safety/Fire; Certified Life Coach, trained and certified by an International Coach Federation accredited training organization.

I am also a self-published author, having written a children’s book titled, The Wonderful Gift, which was inspired by true events, designed for every family member touched by the delicate issues of loss.

The Wonderful Gift


The book was spurred on the heels of losing my very healthy, younger and only sister and BFF in childbirth. There was no indication during her pregnancy that anything even remotely like this would have happened. She was a healthy young woman who would soon be fighting, unsuccessfully, for her life after the onset of an Amniotic Fluid Embolism. I had never heard of such a thing. The shock of her loss felt almost insurmountable for me and my family – all eagerly anticipating the joy and excitement that comes with a little new addition. While devastated by the loss of my sister, there are few words to describe our exuberance after what seemed like hours on that fateful day, to learn that the baby, her daughter, survived. I had no children of my own, but it became immediately clear what my new responsibility, priority, in fact, was to become. My niece is blessed to have a great dad but I knew that I had to be all that my sister could not – my sister deserved nothing less and would have done the same for me.

While my niece also had a village, something kept tugging at me to help her through understanding the loss of her mother and one day – I smile in reflection – a story came to me. And that story absolutely had to be made a book for her. Subsequently, the book has and continues to help others, little ones and those not so little, who have experienced a similar loss.

Well, fast forward about 13 years to my mother being diagnosed with cancer, which began about three years ago with a trek of research, consultations, second opinions, surgeries and treatments. In year one, we had good news and hope as the report following her surgery was that she was cancer-free. However, at year two and a half, it reared its ugly head to the tune of being inoperable and incurable.

I soon became her caregiver, learning all sorts of at-home nursing skills and administering the long and detailed list of instructions given to my family by her doctors. This included changing incontinence pads, bathing, keeping up with so many different prescriptions and appointments, giving shots twice a day. I’d never given anyone a shot before but had to learn quickly. Areas of the house had to be changed, furniture rearranged, new equipment brought in to support her and provide comfort. Emergency instructions posted all over the refrigerator as well as a list of symptoms for which to be on the lookout. In addition to nurse trainee, I also became a dietician seeking out beneficial whole and superfoods that might help turn things around. I became a cheerleader to try to lift my mother’s spirits. And then a therapist of sorts to give my mother the opportunity to talk through her emotions and thoughts, not to mention being a similar resource to my father, brother and nieces and nephew.

It was a challenge and an emotional rollercoaster. This was my mother. The woman who would have done anything in this world for me, who taught me values, morals, right versus wrong, who was the matriarch in our small family as well as her much larger extended family. And she needed me no matter the content of my day or my thoughts. We lost my mother a little more than five months later. I hate when people say, “it seems surreal” but the statement is so fitting because life now without her seems disoriented, with me anxiously waiting to be awakened from a bizarre dream where she is conspicuously missing. I do feel her spirit around me, though, almost daily and I smile when I reflect on the time we had together over those last few months. But there’s no rest for the weary. We now move on to ensuring that my father is managing well, emotionally. He and my mother shared a very special marriage. Just two months short of 60 years.

You might ask what I do to maintain my outlook or how I keep my head up or if I have any passions to serve as a diversion. Well, all are addressed in several ways. I have very strong faith.  My primary passion, however, is travel, which happens to also help maintain my outlook. Always seeking the beauty of unique locations, people and the landscape of this earth.

I also believe that my life experiences and training are not just happenstance but offer an opportunity to help those who are struggling with the type of stress that a caregiver experiences, or those who have been hit hard by the loss of a loved one or some other similarly impactful life-changing event/s. These challenges are not ones that miraculously disappear but with a partner, strategic dialogue and guided assignments at times, it is absolutely possible to move through onto the other side of some of the barriers.

My interest is my company’s mission:

Life coach for caregivers, partnering to help individuals create their new normal with an emphasis on life changes, stress and loss.