PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Marcy Rich had a beautiful life planned.

For many years, she lived those dreams, until one unbearable morning when everything changed.

For 18 years Rich worked in the news business, most of those, behind the scenes at WTWO.

“Cause Jesse Walker came and talked to my seventh grade class and I then wanted to be in TV,” Rich laughed.

For many years, everything went as planned. She attended college, started work, and got married, but then it was time to have children.

“I struggled with infertility and could not get pregnant and then finally, one day I got the great news that I was pregnant. I can’t tell you how wonderful that was and then I had a great pregnancy and Morgan was born,” Rich teared up. “And at 21 days she passed away. It was a rare undiagnosed, disease that we did not know about until after she had passed.”

Morgan died of an immune deficiency disorder in 2006.

Rich said Morgan’s passing was the darkest day, “Cause that was what, if you read my book, that’s all I talked about was being a mom and having kids.”

Marcy was never able to get pregnant again. Ultimately, her marriage also crumbled.

“I think during those times it grounds you because you’re a like, okay, what is my purpose? What am I, what am I doing here,” recalled Rich.

Marcy decided to leave journalism, take a $30,000 pay cut, and become a teacher’s aid at a preschool.

“It was like the clouds opened up and all those dark days just kind of went away because it was wonderful coming into those smiling faces, the hugs, the love,” Rich smiled.

At the age of 42, Rich decided to become a teacher. She went back to college and got a masters degree in education.

“I always thought maybe I wasn’t supposed to give all my love to one kid or two kids,” said Rich. “Maybe, I’m supposed to give a little love to a lot of kids. And that’s what I do.”

But Morgan is never far away. Her picture sits on Rich’s desk and serves as inspiration.

“It kills me not to be called mom. That is the one name I wanted to have was to be called Mom, but Mrs. Marcy’s a pretty good close second thing to Mom,” added Rich.