Even before the pandemic hit, a family saw one challenge after another. They believe we face challenges for a reason.
"We're gonna all look at each other with a serious face," said five-year-old Ever Hale, sitting outside with her parents. "You can't smile! You have to look with a serious face."
Bring out a camera and have no doubt, Ever will be directing the shoot.
Even though she often has a beaming smile, Ever has hard days. She has sickle cell anemia.
Dad Courtney and mom Tia told Ever something.
"We are a family that believes that we can persevere," said Courtney.
"That's our strength is being the model that we need to be for her," added Tia.
Again and again, the family has had to show their strength.
In March, the tornado destroyed the Jefferson Street building where Courtney works.
"I was like, 'why did the bricks go inside the building?'" asked Ever, speaking on her dad's business location. "It makes me feel sad."
Then, there are the cautions that come with the coronavirus with Tia's health compromised, having gone through a heart transplant just last year.
"We prayed and said, 'what are we gonna do?'" said Courtney.
Keep going, that's what. Through his business Knowledge Bank, Courtney is now teaching children financial literacy through virtual programs. Occupational therapist Tia will soon be visiting children with special needs using Zoom.
"We made it through the tornado, we're making it through Ever's sickle cell," said Courtney. "We have miraculously recovered from a heart transplant. We're going to conquer COVID as well."
"I love my mom and dad," said Ever. "I started off being strong myself, and they started teaching me. I started going low, and now I'm coming back up high. I'm feeling okay about this. I'm pushing through it. I'm trying to tell myself, 'you can do this, Ever.' You can push through the coronavirus and the tornado."