Death comes to us all. None are immune to its effects. Perhaps the greatest pain is not for those who finally expire and pass on into that oft written about ‘undiscovered country’. Perhaps the sting of death is does not linger the longest or harshest upon those it touches. But rather the cessation of life is impacted the most upon those who survive. Those who are still awake and aware.
Today, one of the greatest Americans this country has ever birthed, has gone from us never to return. Maya Angelou.
There is little that has not been said about her and her writings. It is unnecessary to repeat her many well deserved accolades here and now. Novelist. Poet. Civil rights leader. Influencer of millions. All those and more are inadequate descriptors of her. But I will say this.
When I first heard her read “Still I Rise” I was moved. When I saw her read “On the Pulse of Morning” I was impacted. When she was quoted as saying “My dear. When someone tells you who they are; believe them. When they SHOW you who they are; you best believe them.” I was motivated. Few humans have moved, impacted and motivated me as she has. And though I’ve never met her, I feel in many ways I actually already have.
I am richer for having read her musings and listened to her verse. I still have much to learn from her and that is a long road I will walk. But I believe that it’s a road that I will enjoy because she was in the end a good person. And isn’t that really all we truly want in the end? To be remembered not as a mover and a shaker. An influencer of millions and worshiped as demigods. No. In the end, my greatest wish is that when the trump sounds and the gates are thrown wide, someone out there testifies that this was a good person.
Maya was such a good person. I pray I live to be one too.