By now you’ve seen or heard the sad news about the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou on May 28, 2014. Famed author, poet, director, civil rights activist, mother, teacher, scholar, and humanitarian, she captured the essence of what a phenomenal woman is. How blessed we were to have her for the last 86 years. Although she’s gone, her body of work will live on through the ages.
I haven’t written in a while. Frankly, I’ve just been downright lazy, but hearing of Maya’s passing lit a spark in me, and all day yesterday and today, I thought about how I could pay homage to her. And this is what came to mind:
Maya, yesterday, you were called to rest, after a job well done
The little girl from Stamps, Arkansas, who stopped talking
Grew up to command the world stage with your elegant voice and command of the spoken word
With your arsenal of words, you inspired women to love themselves “phenomenally,” no matter what the world said
You inspired the downtrodden, disenfranchised, and discriminated to “rise” up, no matter the world threw at them
Visionaries often see things that others do not and Maya like so many too numerous to mention, must have traveled to that mountaintop and seen the promised land, because her body of work had a message.
Maya wasn’t a preacher but she preached a message through her words. She gave us sermons that taught us how to love, how to endure, even against the toughest odds, and how to forgive, and didn’t need a divinity degree to do that. By example, she followed the edict of Christ teachings; love your neighbor as yourself, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Sometimes, words kill but she used her words to heal a world that is often hurt.
Maya kept it real too. Through her poetry and prose, she shared the story of her life; the good, bad, and the ugly. No matter how many times she got knocked down, she got back up. Talk about resilience! She was the rose that grew from concrete, that bloomed so beautifully and blazed a fierce red.
Maya, you may never know or maybe you know now, how many lives you’ve touched and how many lives you changed, by the power of your words, but I just want to say, thank you.