The June 2010 Southern Appalachian Woman is Anita Webb King.
This is the month Anita should have been celebrating her first born child’s 6th birthday and perhaps kindergarten graduation, but no graduation and only a single cupcake at a cemetery. Avery was 2 when tragedy struck. A deeply disturbed, perfect stranger took Avery’s life in a McDonald’s parking lot 4 years ago.
As I sat down with Anita to talk about love and loss, I was amazed by her warmth and openness. I asked her how the experience of such a tragedy has changed her outlook on life. She said, “You can’t take life for granted. Evaluate every day for the most important things. And, enjoy your children.”
She talks herself through her toughest days by asking, “Is there anything I can do about the situation to change it?-NO. I can’t bring her back, so I must move on. I’ve done all I can do.”
As part of her healing, she worked tirelessly to build Avery’s Park (a playground in the town of Woodfin) in memory of her little girl. And now she is able to reach out to others who have suffered loss.
I see the strength of her fiber as she tells me, “You can live without what you lost. You just have to figure out how to do that every day.”
We’ve all lost in life, but we can take this advice from one who is certainly among those who have lost the most.
She’s an amazing example of the strength and resiliency characteristic of so many southern appalachian women.
Being part of her family, and knowing a little about all that she’s been through, I was nearly speechless to hear her say, “Sometimes you just gotta take the risk and live.”—This year, the mother of 3, went skydiving!