The Dart: Dixon’s faith gets her through tough times

Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Two years ago everything in Twanya Dixon’s life changed, but her faith has helped her stay strong through difficult times.

Dixon, a single mother, was working two jobs so she could help send her daughter, Kourtney Chanelle Dixon, to college. She was an instructional assistant for the Dallas County School System and spent afternoons and nights as a shift manager at Taco Bell.

“I worked hard all my life two jobs so my girl can go to school and be successful,” Twanya said.

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On May 4, 2015, Kourtney came home to find her mother in distress at the house and rushed her to the hospital. Twanya suffered a stroke that day and it’s impacted her life greatly. At age 46, she uses a cane to get around, her speech is slowed and she can no longer drive.

“I’m not the same. Some days I can’t remember and some days my speech is good and some days my speech is not good,” she said. “I have to write things down to remember and I have to depend on family a lot for help with things like groceries, laundry and this transition has been difficult because everyone who knows me, knows that I was so energetic and outgoing.”

Many activities are tougher now, but Twanya realizes her life could’ve ended that day.

“I did not have to wake up,” Dixon said. “I could have died but my purpose was not over, so he let me live, so now God and his word is more profound to me.”

She said teachers at the Dallas County School System, Selma School System and Wallace Community College Selma supported her through the stroke and many donated their catastrophic sick days so she’d still have health insurance.

“I received so many days. It was overwhelming, especially with Selma City and Wallace because I’ve never even worked there, but a lot of people know me from schools and Taco Bell and McDonalds,” she said.

On her refrigerator are notes and cards from students she taught or got to know from her time at Taco Bell. She said when the days get tough, they give her strength.

There’s also photos of her dressed up as The Cat in the Hat and as the Easter Bunny at Taco Bell. She smiles as she picks up the photos and talks about those days.

“When I have a very bad day, I look at the cards and letters that students gave me and their pictures and it reminds me that with God’s help I’ve done some good,” she said.

It’s been a rough week for the Dixon family. Twanya will attend the funeral of her sister, Helene, this weekend. Through a difficult two years, she’s clung to her faith for support.

“Despite the stroke and disability, I lost my mom, my dad and now my sister, my faith and my church family Fresh Anointing House of Worship are helping me to accept challenges, adversities and remember that no matter what we should always remember our God’s purpose for our lives and do it to the fullest every day,” she said.

Kourtney is a student at Alabama A&M University, where she’s studying engineering. She comes home during breaks to help her mother and to be back close home with family.

One day Twanya hopes to find a way to help children again. It’s been her lifelong passion and it’s what she hopes to be able to do it again soon.

“It’s painful to try to get back out there because I know I’m different and I have not completely accepted my condition and limitations,” Twanya said.

For now, she asks for the Selma community to keep her and her family in their prayers.

“I ask the community to please keep me and my family in prayer during bereavement and pray that I will once again continue my work with kids and if not, pray that God gives me strength to accept my legacy,” she said.