Women of Grace, these are my thoughts for you today. If they serve to move you or elevate you or give you pause or even make you uncomfortable; I’m grateful!
What are you living for? How do you want to be remembered? What do you want to be remembered for?
Are you living up to your greatest potential? Are you waiting for your dream job or for that ‘keeper’ guy to suddenly materialize to form your reality? Are you putting your dreams on hold? Are you waiting for a tomorrow that might not come?
If you haven’t started to create a life that offers something of value and sustains long after you’re gone or at the very least, make an indelible impression in the world, then, you’re not living your soul purpose! It’s time to stop straddling the fence of life and begin the real process of living your one memorable life.
I learned today that a prolific weaver of words and a very personable and kind woman I met in the 90s had died from injuries sustained after being hit by a car. In regards to and out of respect for her family and loved ones, I will only refer to this poetess as “M.” I’m always saddened by the ending of life. It is only natural that when a loved one passes we grieve. Over the years, I’ve grieved from the loss of children, friends and co-workers. I even mourn the loss of strangers and celebrities.
We have empathy because we are no stranger to loss and the pain of loss. Over the years, I’ve become a motherless and fatherless child. I’ve lost a brother and a sister and I’ve had my share of dark days, tears and feelings of brokenness. The thing I’m grateful to carry with me, is the love that burned in them for me. I’m able to keep going because of their legacy of love. When I lose a friend or someone I’ve met for a brief time, the grief is just as painful.
I met M in the 90s during our season of poetry hopping where we were seeking validation for the least read art that still moved us to create. I joined a local poetry group who had an open door policy for poets who wanted to share their work. One Saturday M dropped by to read her poetry. She was already an accomplished and polished poet with an authentic voice. Like others in the group, I knew instantly that M was special. She didn’t join our poetry group, but would stop in on occasion while she kept doing her thing. Our group often ran into her at special appearances, poetry slams and other venues where poetry readings were welcomed. Her work preceded her and she was well-known to poetry lovers in Chicago.
I purchased one of M’s earlier works and enjoyed it immensely. Gwendolyn Brooks was among her circle of acquaintances. The time I saw the two of them together, there appeared to be no outward showing of grandeur from either of them. Ms. Brooks knew who she was, of course and why she was, evident by the wealth of work she left the world. To this day, Chicago State University continues to host Poetry Competitions in her honor.
I also got the impression that M knew who and the why of her being as well. In this one life we live, there will be people we meet whose essence exudes confidence, elegance and authenticity. There will be people who leave an indelible impression that settles in our memory bank of people connections. M was one of those women.
I remember once, how excited I was to enter a poetry contest she hosted at her place of business. One evening while I was busy cooking dinner for my family, I got a phone call. It was M telling me that due to the lack of participants, the contest was pulled. She thanked me for entering and wished me well in the future. She told me that she had read an article in the Chicago Defender Newspaper, where I wrote of a confrontation between myself and a nurse supervisor who wasn’t pleased about my locs and had advised me to change my hair.
I wrote about the incidence and sent it to the paper. M congratulated me for refusing to give in to the supervisor’s intimidation. At the time she was wearing a short Afro and walking in her truths.
Time passes and Life takes us in different directions. I eventually left the poetry group. Sadly, I never saw or heard from M again. Just today,I read of her passing.
I’m thankful I got to meet this woman of grace and courage, who left a great and honorable legacy for her family. I hear the good lord saying, “well done my good and faithful servant~ well done.”
“May your living leave a legacy or at the very least, an indelible impression” CF