To God be the glory for this awesome blessing. After 32-years in this business, and two nominations, I finally caught the ONLY woman I ever chased — EMMY!! It was a magical night in Palm Springs on Saturday, June 11th.
As I sat at the dinner table with my colleagues, waiting and praying for my name to be called, I couldn’t help but reflect on my 13-year old self realizing that I wanted to be a television news anchor when I grew up. I remember that it was Career Day at my school, and even though I attended a private, parochial school from K through 12, there were a handful of lay teachers (those who were not nuns). It was one of those lay teachers, Ms. Casali, who was engaged to a local sports anchor. When the time came for him to address the class, low-and-behold, it was the sports guy who I’d watched on tv every night with my grandparents… Dave Lewallen. Wow!! I figured– that’s it!! The only thing I ever got in trouble for in school was talking, so I thought, why not get paid to do it just like Dave?!?!? That was the very moment I knew that I wanted to be in the business of broadcasting.
Fast forward to a great high school career, college, a lot of hard work, and some serious ups-and-downs, I had made it to the biggest night of my career…Emmy night!! With my husband Delano and my son D’Artagnan there to support and cheer me on, my name was called, along with several of my colleagues. At last!! I’m finally part of that elite club that so many journalists work so hard to join.
As I journeyed up to the stage to accept my trophy, I was humbled by the thoughts of those who had helped me got over. My grandparents who helped my mother raise me and my sisters after my father left us, and my mother who had sacrificed so very much to give us a good life. They did EVERYTHING they had to do ensure the health, happiness and education of me and my sisters. I will always love, respect and appreciate them for that. Rest in peace to my grandparents– Willie D and Florida Bell Blue.
As I continued to walk toward the stage, the love of my life was standing at the back of the room taking pictures of the whole thing. Delano…my husband, the father of my beautiful son, and the one person who has championed my goals and aspirations since I was 15-years old…looked at me with love, respect and a sense of the YOU DID IT spirit. He was proud of me because he knew…first-hand…how much time, sacrifice, work and determination it had taken to get to this point in my career. He’s been with me all the way, and it was at that very moment that I fell in love with him all over again. There’s truly nothing like the love of your life supporting your career choice, in spite of ALL the hard knocks that come along with it. I will ALWAYS love you Delano.
Once I made it to the stage, it was as if I was having an out-of-body experience. I accepted that coveted golden statue and stepped to the mic. “To God be the glory,” we’re the words that rolled off my tongue. I felt his presence, and it felt so good.
As I thanked all those responsible, I totally and completely ignored “the wrap” signal from the production crew. We were only allowed 30 seconds, but I was not gonna be rushed through a moment that had taken me 32-years to get to.
I did, eventually, wrap things up, and by the end of my speech…I had won over the crowd. I was proud of myself and my accomplishment, and I was especially proud of the fact that my family was there to witness my success. I was elated!!
I did it!! I AM AN EMMY AWARD WINNING JOURNALIST!!