2018-10-10 / Community

Faith Goes to a Crowning

by Sheila Peace Hobbs

Faith is crowned homecoming queen. Faith is crowned homecoming queen. I received an unexpected phone call on September 3. It was from a young lady who attends Turner County High School in Ashburn, the same school our daughter, Faith, attends. She introduced herself to me as Zebony Davis, explaining she had been elected to the homecoming court and proceeded to ask permission for our daughter to escort her onto the field. Uncertain why she would request such a thing I questioned her a bit. You see Faith was born with Down Syndrome and later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A double whammy!!! Faith is in a self-contained classroom, and also a senior at TCHS. Zebony told me she "even had to have permission to call" me. Tears began to fill my eyes and I told her it would be an honor to have Faith included. I asked what she needed to wear and when the event would take place. She told me it was September 14th, and asked if Faith had a white dress, something like a Sunday church dress. I told her she didn't but we could get one. I set about searching for a dress and soon found a pretty ivory one. I sent a photo to Zebony and she said it was perfect. I told her how sweet it was for her to do that for Faith and she told me Faith deserved that and more. I told her that I just felt like I was in a dream because "typical" girls get to grow up, get a driver's license, get a car, go to college, have a career, get married, and have children, and while I am happy for them I can't help but feel sad because my own child can't look forward to any of that. Zebony told me "It's just something I had to do. If we have the power to change something and give someone just a small piece of happiness, it's important that we do that!! I just want Faith's whole senior year, not just this night to be memorable. So I'm going to get together with different people to try and make that happen." I can't tell you how many tears I have cried. I have prayed for God to send someone into Faith's life to be a real friend. She has friends at church, and friends in the community, but they are friends she sees there and that's it. She, like all of us, needs friends that she can hang out with, friends who have her back, friends that want to be with her regardless of her differences. Zebony is at the top of her class, while our sweet Faith has an IQ of a 2-3 year old. She didn't let that hinder her from being a friend to Faith. No matter what someone's personal circumstances, we can always be a friend and show God's love. Little did I realize that Zebony, in spite of her youth, had made it a her mission to include Faith in the senior activities when she saw she wasn't being included.

The night of homecoming, Zebony wore black. Faith wore ivory. That was a statement of its own. Just because someone is of a different color, race or nationality, it doesn't mean they have to be our enemy. Zebony held Faith's hand and walked onto the field with her on one side and a male escort (a senior favorite) on the other side. All of the representatives were stunning in their fancy dresses. Our sweet Faith was there in her ivory lace dress that she would later wear as a church dress. It wasn't a fancy dress like all the others. I didn't think it should be because she wasn't chosen as a representative. Then they announced Zactavier Martin as King and Zebony Davis as Queen. Zebony's parents were jumping for joy along with her. Everyone was applauding. There was excitement in the air. Zebony began walking toward the spot where they would present the crown. She took Faith's hand. I had Faith's hand because I thought she would not need to walk with Zebony at that point. Suddenly I heard "let her go" from Zebony's Mom. I figured she just wanted Faith to continue to escort her since she had asked her. They put the ribbon, robe and crown on Zactavier. They put the ribbon and robe on Zebony. They started to put the crown on her when she turned and said, "No, give it to Faith. I want Faith to have it." What? Was I really hearing correctly? I told my husband, Carl, "They're putting the crown on Faith!!!" He said, "No, I don't think so, Sweetheart." "Yes they are, Carl!! Look!!!" I said.

Crown on head, our sweet Faith, Zebony and Zactavier headed across the field, through the arch of swords held by the Jr. ROTC. Faith's new shoes were hurting her by the time they got through the arch. She started to complain. Zebony, in her beautiful custom made dress, knelt down and removed Faith's shoes and carried them across the field until they got to the gravel path outside the gate.

Oh my goodness, talk about great big old Mama tears. I have had my share of them these last few weeks. Zebony exhibited the kind of love Jesus wants us all to show each other. If we all can just get over ourselves long enough to look around I'm sure we can see someone who just needs a little bit of encouragement, friendship and love. Agape love, that's what it is all about.

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