The community at Forrest County Agricultural High School in Brooklyn, Mississippi, recently suffered a tragic loss.
A.J. Walters, a mother of two who worked as a secretary at the school, passed away after battling cancer. One of her final wishes was that her daughter, senior Brittany Walters, wouldn’t miss homecoming that same night.
A.J. didn’t know that her community had already been working toward this goal. They organized a Facebook group to assist her family, and together they raised more than $800 to buy Brittany a dress and have her hair and makeup done.
“She realized that she may not be able to make it out here,” said Sean Walters, Brittany’s dad and A.J.’s husband. “She made me promise her that I was going to come out here with Brittany because she didn’t want to ruin her day, her homecoming day. She said that’s something she’ll remember for the rest of her life.”
The incredible mom passed away that morning, but her family kept their promise. Sean accompanied Brittany across the football field, where she stood with the rest of the homecoming court. That’s when something extraordinary happened!
Senior Nyla Covington spoke quietly to the school’s administrators. Moments later, she was crowned homecoming queen, but instead of reveling in her victory, she took off her crown and placed it on Brittany’s head. Brittany immediately burst into tears, as did everyone who was watching!
“All I could think about was my mom and how she wanted to be here, and then the next thing I know, Nyla walked towards me, and she hugged me,” Brittany recalled. “I just didn’t really think anything of it, and then she started to take off her crown.”
“I told her it belonged to her, and then she was, like, backing away,” Nyla said with a smile. “I was like, ‘No, come here, get it, you’re your mom’s queen.’ I wanted her to know that. And then I hugged her.”
While this kind act was surprising, people who know Nyla say that’s just the sort of person she is.
“She’s an outstanding student,” Assistant Principal Benton Holder said. “I’m not really surprised. It’s one of the most selfless things that I’ve ever seen in my life… There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium.”
Family friend Tyra Willamor-Idom believes A.J. was “working through Nyla” on the field that night.
“A.J. was a beam of light, she loved people and always showed everyone love,” she explained. “Nyla just listened to her heart and gave selflessly… there was some definite work from a higher being, God meticulously planned all this out weeks ago and made that night just perfect.”
Brittany agreed: “My mom would have done the same thing if she was in Nyla’s shoes, and I just felt my mom’s presence there. I can see my mom through Nyla. They have the same exact caring, giving spirit and it’s really fulfilling.”
Even though A.J. couldn’t be there in person, Nyla made sure she was there in spirit. If that isn’t the definition of selflessness and kindness, we don’t know what is!
Share this story to thank Nyla for showing so much love and grace when Brittany needed it most.
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