An Atlanta Fire Rescue Department firefighter/EMT will be celebrating Mother’s Day with her son, but 7,000 miles apart.
Sgt. Sharunda Clark, stationed at Station 29 in northeast Atlanta, usually spends each Mother’s Day bowling and spending time with her son, Pvt. Shamari Leverett, a flight specialist with the U.S. Army. But since December, Leverett has been stationed at Camp Humphreys in South Korea. Despite the 13-hour time difference, the mom and son will talk via FaceTime on Mother’s Day.
They also planned trips to see each other, with Clark going to South Korea in April for her birthday and for an early Mother’s Day and Leverett requesting leave in July to visit Atlanta. But both of those trips have been cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“I knew I wasn’t going to see my son on actual Mother’s Day,” Clark said in a news release. “He’s in the military and I’m a firefighter. He lives in Asia and I live here. But we’ve always made the time and the effort to see each other no matter where we were at any given time. This pandemic is the only thing that’s ever kept us apart.”
In addition to bowling, the mother and son both love to dance and often choreograph dance routines together. They’ve even been joking a lot lately about the fact that if they were still both living in Atlanta under quarantine, the one thing they could actually do – as places are reopening – is to go bowling (the state allowed bowling alleys to reopen started April 24). And if they were sheltering in place together, they would be the dance champions of Tik Tok.
A single mother, Clark raised her son solo. She said her close bond with her son is due to the environment in which he was raised.
“We’ve always had each other,” Clark said.