fter graduating from Columbia, my father was admitted to New York University Medical School.
He flunked out after his first year.
Until he was nine years old, he had slept on a small cot in his grandmother's bedroom. They would both awaken at 6 am and spent many early morning hours together. The Madagascar-born, "grand old slave lady," as he called her, was the one who taught him to cook. All of his life until she died, she had encouraged him to get a good education.
His failure at NYU Medical School was standing between him and his professional goal, as the Confederate Army had stood between Grandma King and her husband at Bull Run, when they were escaping from slavery.
They were able to gain their freedom and reunite weeks later in Alexandria.
Would my father be able to safely attain his goal?
He did what he did with all of the low points in his life. He turned a setback into a milestone, marking it and, then, moving beyond it toward his ultimate goal.