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  • Kristie Sharp Williams

Hakuna Matata

We did it! We graduated high school! Yes, we. It took a “village,” just as the African proverb says.


Our oldest wrapped up her childhood education by participating in a graduation ceremony where she received an advanced university preparatory diploma for her work over the last 13 years. She finishes with several college credits and an academic scholarship to help her out at Harding University where she announced she would be (starting off) studying audiology (or communication disorders).

It took us all, and so many outside of our family, to support her, to fill in the cracks so that she would not fall through.

Almost 6 of those 13 years were spent in the backseat to childhood cancer and to Alzheimer’s. So, despite intense life distractions around her during almost half of her school years, she came out pretty well thanks to her own attitude and work ethic, and that support from friends and family that helped to make her life as normal as possible under abnormal circumstances.


I can’t help but worry and wonder what her experience was preparing her for during that time. I’m praying that it is not for something personal to come, but instead for her to be suited well for a meaningful job that helps other people.


After Hg graduated, we spent a couple of days on the river, not near enough days, but it was relaxing. I unplugged mostly for those two days. Then I got a new car! Well, a new-to-me car because we got Hg a car so I got her car. We've been short a vehicle, with the girls and me sharing their two and since Big Sam has been relegated to work travel duty only with Vic, I've been bouncing around and putting more miles on the Mustang than I'd like to. So, I'm Mini Pearl's new driver. I named her that when we first got her b/c she has a special "Pearl" paint job and originally she belonged to Vic who is from Tennessee, so it seemed funny to call his car Mini Pearl. So, now it's me and Mini Pearl, but we are old buddies from back when she used to drive Eli and me back and forth to Memphis and to Houston. She is a fun little car, a Toyota RAV4 with a v6. I know!


Our first trip as a team took us to Disney World! I took Hg and a friend down for graduation. We hit a couple of fun things along the way, including the original Chick-fil-A restaurant. I had already been with Eli a few years ago, but Hg is a CFA gal, so it was neat for her, too. At Disney, we stayed at one of the lowest level resorts, only going to the Magic Kingdom one day, then coming home. Although instead of me going to the park, I stayed at the hotel and started school. I had my first day of class poolside. School has really improved since Iast I went. I've only got two successive classes this summer and I'm pretty nervous. Turning in my first assignment, the angst of it all (the course is Technical Writing), is a post all its own.

From Orlando, I took them to see Florida College in Tampa. I graduated from the two-year school before going to Auburn. We walked around a few minutes, but they were mostly uninterested. Hg only because she has some friends there and going there next year. I also drove them around UF in Gainesville and USF in Tampa, but they were not interested in even looking away from the movie they were watching on Hg’s phone to see where they were. Oh, well, I tried.


We came home and I hit the ground running for summer. Let’s do it!