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Mom’s joyous reaction to son overcoming depression and grief to pass bar exam

"My mother’s reaction was food to my soul."

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By Jamie Smith via SWNS

This emotional video shows a mom's joyous reaction to her son overcoming anxiety, depression, and grief to pass the bar exam.

Ray Petty, 29, shared the moving footage from his mom's house in Tampa, Florida as he took a significant step in his journey to become a lawyer.

In a clip that has now been viewed millions of times on social media, he looks on in anticipation followed by disbelief at his passing grade as his mother Meta Petty, 50, erupts in pure jubilation.

The achievement was made extra special as his sister Shakodi Sapp unexpectedly passed away in his arms in April 2020.

This caused Ray to fall into a deep depression that led to him initially failing the bar.

But not wanting to give up and remembering that his sister had always been his biggest supporter – even moving from Georgia to Tampa to help him get through law school – Ray decided to give the exam another go.

Now the cries of jubilation from his mother and brother Joshua have been immortalized on film and brought joy to millions on social media.

Ray, who is a Reserve Paralegal for the US Air Force said: "My mother’s reaction was food to my soul. My mom saw all of my sacrifices. She saw all my late nights and early mornings. She saw my days that I would forget to eat.

“She saw my tears. Sometimes, me and my mom would not even see each other for weeks, even though we live in the same house.

“Every child has as an aspiration to make their mom proud. I believe that I not only made my mom proud, but I’ve made my sister proud too. This is why I said, “For Koko.” Koko was my sister’s nickname.

“I really want people to take away from this video, that it's okay to seek mental health help and I also want people to know that they can come back from anything! I am life’s underdog. If I can make it, so can you.

“You will hear my brother in the background on FaceTime during the video. His name is Joshua Petty, 30 years old.

“He is an ER, registered nurse in Houston, Texas. He was so excited that he just wanted to read the screen. Since the video, I know many people were wondering, but my brother has successfully seen the screen.

“My father was also on the call. Ray Petty Senior. He's a retired military veteran. He works for the Postal Service in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently obtaining his master's degree at Morehouse College in Divinity.

“My feeling during the exam was hopeful, shocked yet nervous. You can see me utter the words, “I trust you God.” I felt like Jesus when he was in the garden of Gethsemane when he said “nevertheless, not my will but your will be done.

“When I went through the bar exam the first time, I gave it everything I had and came up short. What I take away from this experience is that “you will win if you do not quit."

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