Tag Archives: Tribute

For Maya

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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.

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W.E.H. (In Memoriam)

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It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since your beautiful voice was silenced. February 11, 2012. My beautiful, fallen, tragic angel who soared to the stratosphere but crashed and burned.  What did they expect? You were only human.  Did someone clip your beautiful wings or was the world just too much for such a gentle spirit? It’s hard to be perfect in an imperfect world. Just ask Michael or Marilyn.

You were my girl, my sister-friend, who I never met but felt like I knew. You were every woman and we shared in your struggles  We are all trying to live, love, and accept ourselves.  And don’t we all want to be loved and accepted for who we are? You weren’t afraid to share your strengths or your vulnerabilities. You fell many times, but you got back up and put your best foot forward. And isn’t that all any of us can really do?

We were rooting for you Nippy, hoping for another comeback not just in the music world, but in life.  We hoped the Voice would once again soar to the heavens without cracking, but even if it did, we just hoped you wouldn’t. We hoped that you would start your second act like Lena, Liza, Tina, or Josephine did.

You didn’t know it then,  but you helped me through some tough times, when I was waiting to exhale, or didn’t know my own strength.  Through song, you told me it’s not right but it’s okay, and I was going to make it anyway, and that the greatest love of all lived inside of me.  How I wish you would have taken that to heart yourself, and believed in the power of you.

I’ve been playing your songs today and it feels like you’ve never left.  When I need strength or inspiration,  I listen to I Look to You.  When you sang that song, I know you must have looked to the heavens and saw the beauty and felt the strength that is the Creator, because it comes through in that song like a beacon. Your voice  sounds  so powerful and flawless, and it exclaims, “I’m back!” You didn’t know your own strength, but we did and through your music  you will continue to help others find theirs.  Your life was not  a cautionary tale, it was a lesson that taught just how human we really are.

Rest in peace, Whitney Elizabeth Houston,  I will always love you.