There was this perch that you sat on. Like all of the women in our family you gave off an aura that reeked of authority… of divinity even and although aspired to, I couldn’t reach it. You were astute in speaking truth when it needed to be told and I often stood in awe of how you and my Mother interacted in a fashion that served to strengthen our family rather than allowing it to be torn asunder.
You were my big cousin…
But you always spoke truth to me in a frequency that shook me to the core of my foundation.
Actually, I can recall a pivotal event that started the breaking of the cocoon that would have served to suffocate me if had it not been for the unconditional love that has always served to buoy our family throughout the generations.
I called your house one day and within a couple seconds, you apparently had your fill of my teenage obnoxiousness. You exhaled audibly and told me:
“Stop being an asshole and do what you are capable of doing… You are wasting your time and ours!”
You spoke plainly and promptly hung the phone up in one fluid motion…. Your words stung, but dripped with the essence of love.
Once the sting of the words subsided, I began the process of doing what you demanded…
Inspecting my expectations and more importantly I began a conscious effort to adhere to the words of our elders to:
“Get off your rump and do something”
You give credence to my contention that we are descended from royalty… Like those who came before me, you… And the generations that preceded us. You always did what was hard and made it seem as if it was seamless and admittedly it was those actions that were contagious and if I exhibited any lack of eloquence in expressing my appreciation and affinity for the outsized role that you have played in my life.
Please forgive me…
You stand in the pantheon of my heroes… You inspire me not merely because we share a DNA sequence, but because you showed me how what fortitude and love can render.
Happy Birthday Mae Francis… You are loved!