OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Tonight the family coffee table is an alter to high school education.
Six diplomas sit lined up with a few school letters for athletics, year books, and honor cords.
And if this is the alter its high priestess would have to be Vertina Long, mother of seven, grandmother of two, whose youngest child Destiny is set to graduate from Putnam City West High School, adding her diploma to the pile.
Destiny says, "It's kind of hard being the last one because everyone is like, 'I know this person or that person and you better live up to them'. I'm like, 'nah'. I'm going to live up to myself."
Vertina says of her kids, "They didn't make it hard on me. I don't know if I made it hard on them."
They all went to PC West.
Joshua Bell graduated in '07, then Daniel, Danielle, Billy Joe III, Jeremiah, Elijah, and soon Destiny.
"Good times, good friends," says Bill Joe. "The family kept me going."
It was mom who made sure they stayed with it.
"I knew it was going to happen," states Vertina. "They had me for a mom so I knew they were going to graduate."
The going wasn't always easy.
Vertina was a single mom with six kids when she moved to Oklahoma City from Memphis.
But she went back to school.
She re-married along the way, and kept the family together.
On what it takes, Vertina says, "Dedication, discipline, being involved in the school."
They've always looked out for each other.
Each one keeps the others honest too.
B.J. starts out by telling their visitor about his pursuit of a law degree at OU.
Vertina interjects, "Don't listen to him. No he's not."
B.J. smiles, "All right then. You can erase that part."
The table will soon carry a seventh high school diploma, but that's not the end.
Vertina will see to that.
"I think we did okay," she says. "I think we did okay."
Destiny is set to receive her diploma May 20.
On Mother's Day the family will hold to their tradition of going out for ice cream.