|I mean, Sesame Street? She was major.|
When my grandmother passed away, one of the things that helped me to get to some sort of resolve was this: Among so many things, she showed me how to live with grace and how to be a lady. She showed me how to love people and how to truly have compassion. What then was I going to do with all that she showed me now that her work here is done? She lived so well in front of so many so I really had no excuse to not live my life as if I had never been in her unforgettable presence. Although I have never been in Maya Angelou's presence, this is much how I feel about her. This is why I need to lie down a while. I am already worn out just thinking about the weight of the responsibility that should come next.
I can't think of too many other phrases that have hit me harder than when she said "I am the dream and the hope of the slave." In light of those words, I look at myself and I look at our world and I think man, we have got so much work to do. We have so much work to UNdo. We can't live like we have not witnessed such greatness in our time. We can't allow others to do so either, not if we can help it at all. I just want us all to wake up and STAY awake; past the tributes, past the RIP Facebook statuses. The way we see each other, the way we see ourselves...we just have to do the work to be better. More so than ever, we have to want to see others do better as well. We don't champion recovery well as a society at all. Maya Angelou learned some tough lessons by going through some things that a lot of us would not have come back from. She took that wisdom from those lessons and she passed it along to help others be great. She didn't keep it to herself. The reach of the rippling effect of her wisdom is immeasurable. However, I fear that because she is no longer with us, if we aren't careful those ripples can become still.
If you have ever been moved by her words, soaked up her wisdom or were blessed enough to be in her presence, consider these blessings as a charge. The first words that came out of my mouth when I heard that she died were "Man. We've gotta hold it down for her." We've just witnessed too much to not want to pick up the torch. I really want my life to honor those like my grandmother and Dr. Angelou. I just...I need to lie down first. I already miss her voice. I wasn't ready for this one today.