Ms. Valarie A. Williams. Right now you may be asking "Who?" But where I'm from Ms. Williams is known by everybody for her God-loving spirit and wisdom. To some she's the mom or grandma you never had, to others she's the best friend you thought you lost a long time ago, and the rest of you view her as a guardian angel, who has and will always be there to guide you in the direction of her home... heaven. Please allow me the great pleasure to introduce you to Ms. Valarie A. Williams, my African American hero.
Ms. Val, as everyone else calls her, was born on May 11, 1959. Ms. Val loved going to school when she was younger, even in middle and high school. I don't know if it was to escape her family life or just because she was happy to learn something new everyday. Ms. Val's childhood was not a piece of cake. She had few and basically raised herself and her siblings. She watched her mom do and receive mean and cruel things. As Valarie grew older, she began to take notice of these things and vowed to make sure HER children were raised BETTER than she ever was. In high school she was your average teenager but had more common sense, more wisdom, and harder struggles to overcome! At age 16 Ms. Val gave birth to a baby boy, and two years later his sister was born. Though not intentionally done, Ms. Val recognized this to be an opportunity to become independent, start her own family and live her own life. After dropping out of school to take care of her children, finding a job and an apartment, Ms. Val began to nurture her family. She took her kids to church and school, making sure she was a part of everything that they did. Not long after this, she became a dedicated Christian. As a little girl, she was taught about God by her great-great grandfather Thomas Crumb, a well known blacksmith in the Augusta area's history.
Things were looking good for Ms. Val, but she didn't expect this next situation to be so big and life changing. At age thirteen, Valarie's daughter had a baby girl and approximately one year later she gave birth to another beautiful baby girl. Ms. Val couldn't believe what was going on. She had raised her children the best she could. Had she gone wrong somewhere? Little did this sweet woman know that this was just the beginning of her problems. Ms. Val kept her darling granddaughters while her allowed her daughter to finish school and enjoy her teenage years. After high school her daughter had other plans besides raising her two girls. She had another baby girl and decided to move to Ohio with her new baby's father, whose job in the military caused him to move frequently. Her first two baby girls were to stay home with grandma.
Now with the responsibility of two more children, Ms. Williams knew some changes had to be made. Changes did come. Perhaps the greatest one ever to happen to Ms. Williams was when she met Phin and Jan Hancock. These two coached Ms. Williams until she was finally ready. She was going for her GED! The Hitchcocks didn't only teach Ms. Williams but her granddaughters too! Their lessons ranged from math to computers to GOD, our favorite topic!
The year 2000 was the highlight of Valarie A. Williams' life! Not only did she receive her GED but officially and legally adopted her granddaughters on July 20th 2000! God truly blessed her in 2000!
One year after this Ms. Val's daughter returned to Augusta to be with her mom and kids, whose frequent visits to Ohio had encouraged her to come home. This amazing story was also told in The Augusta Chronicle on Friday, November 7, 2003.
Today Ms. Williams lives in her cozy apartment in Augusta, Georgia with her two granddaughters, now 13 & 12. Her daughter and her two other children live close by! She's happier and stronger than ever. She's a proud child of God, grandmother to 7 (4 from her daughter and 3 from her son), and a God sent miracle to thousands. I feel privileged and honored to write about Ms. Williams. This makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world because Ms. Valarie A. Williams is my grandmother and I love her more than anything mankind could ever imagine. I hope one day I'll be able to live up to her standards, and I hope the spirit of Ms. Valarie A. Williams will live on in me when she's gone on home to heaven.