Thursday, May 14, 2015, the youngest sibling in my family graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree of Science from Kennesaw State University. This momentous occasion was an amazing celebration of the tenacity of the human spirit. It was my young sister Ashley who was on stage that day and we, the King family, bowed and curtseyed as she strolled across that victory line for all to see. But, what most human eyes did not see was the glory of the Lord radiating from my Mother’s smile.
It was Mother who was on the receiving in of painful calls of failures, rejection, frustration, and even heartaches in the wee hours of morning or during the bustling work hours of day. It was Mother who borrowed from Aunts to ensure her first-born did not have to quit studies at the University of West Georgia, Junior year during Summer 2000. It was Mother who took out student loans for her middle children to meet their book and scholar needs at Fort Valley State University and Columbus State University. Yes, it was Mother that paved a way for her youngest to signal the call of excellence as four King Women stood tall beside each other with Bachelor’s degrees side by side in their scholastic family tree.
My Mother and Grandmother placed a premium on scholarship and civic engagement. You carry your community for it carried you when you knew no better. We never thought much in my family about giving our free time or resources to others because this is how my family through the ages survived. Others made sure we were equipped and in turn we sow generously everywhere we stroll. The same generosity we invested in others was required of ourselves. My Mother taught her King women to read and travel far away through reading at tender ages. She adorned us in the girliest of dresses but ensured a book was in our hands. From Book-mobiles to Book fairs, the King girls always adventured to lands far away. My Mother knew then she was equipping us with a key to success, our minds. My Mother knew life would be harsh, some would not believe, but if we invested in our minds/hearts early, our paths could not be deterred.
So, it is with great pleasure that the King Women of Columbus, GA stand tall. My Mother invested in a legacy of determination, strength, and agility by simply exposing her children to reading. As my Sisters and I, journey through Business, Student Affairs, Teaching, Counseling, Marketing & Public Relations, we now set the stage for a generation of Kings growing today (my niece and nephew).
My Father played a significant role in supporting us through college as well and stands tall as he sees the reward for the sacrifices made on behalf of his family’s educational endeavors. But, the Badge of Honor goes to Sherry Lynn. Beyond the money, the hugs, and the pep talks she created the vision, nurtured the development, and supported a shift in our generational legacy. Four King Women stood tall on Thursday, May 14, 2015. What an honor for these Four King Women to represent the tenacity of a Mother who believed.