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Reading with memories of Jessica

Cynthia Pearson read to her little girl every night.

She even started to read to Jessica before she was born.

Reading to Jessica was a most special time for both of them. It’s the time that Pearson misses most.

Jessica died on April 12, 2004. She was only eight years old.

“I miss Jessica so much and I cherish the time we had together,” Pearson said. “And, it’s the time that I spent reading to her that is so special to me, so memorable. Jessica loved for me to read to her and I loved to read to her. She had hundreds of books and we read them all, over and over.”

Pearson said the children at the Brundidge Head Start Center are close to her heart. And, there was a strong tugging in her heart to see the wide-eyed wonder of children as a story was read to them.

“I asked if I could go to the center to read to the children and Tracy Upshaw, director, said she would be proud for me to come,” Pearson said. “That was something the children would really enjoy.”

Pearson began to look through the stacks of Jessica’s book to find just the right one to read to the children at Head Start.

“And, there it was, ‘Jessica and the Sleepy Flowers.” It was Jessica’s favorite book,” she said, with a smile. “It was the perfect book for me to read.”

The day itself was perfect. The sun was shining. The sky was a bright blue and the clouds floated like feathers and the birds were singing.

“I know my Jessica is in heaven and full of joy,” Pearson said. “It was almost as if she had planned the day for us.”

For Pearson, the day was letter perfect. The children were attentive and so appreciative of having someone take time to come in and read to them.

“This has been a wonderful day,” Pearson said on Thursday. “To hear the laughter of little children and to see their bright eyes and sweet smiles is a wonderful thing. I miss Jessica’s laughter and smile. I miss reading to her. This day has done me so much good. I thank them for letting me come.”

Pearson gave each child a gift bag and brought one for each of the teachers. She also presented a check to the Head Start Center in the amount of $70 from the mayor, city manager and the council members.

When Pearson, who is a member of the Brundidge City Council, visited the Head Start Center in Brundidge during the Week of the Young Child activities, she learned that the Center has wants that can’t be met with the available funding. She decided to do something about that.

She asked the mayor and other members of the council if they would like to make a monetary donation to the Center to purchase some of the items on its wish list.

“They were all so willing to give so that these children could have some of the extra things that bring smiles and happiness to them,” Pearson said. “The children are the future of our community. We want them to know that their community cares about them.”