May 29, 2014


“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”
Maya Angelou

source: google images

Dear Daughter,

This letter has taken an extraordinary time getting itself together. I have all along known that I wanted to tell you directly of some lessons I have learned and under what conditions I have learned them. My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring, still.

There have been people in my life who meant me well, taught me valuable lessons, and others who have meant me ill, and have given me ample notification that my world is not meant to be all peaches and cream.

I have made many mistakes and no doubt will make more before I die. When I have seen pain, when I have found that my ineptness has caused displeasure, I have learned to accept my responsibility and to forgive myself first, then to apologize to anyone injured by my misreckoning. Since I cannot un-live history, and repentance is all I can offer God, I have hopes that my sincere apologies were accepted.

  You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.

 Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.

  Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.

     I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters. You are Black and White, Jewish and Muslim, Asian, Spanish-speaking, Native American and Aleut. You are fat and thin and pretty and plain, gay and straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you all. Here is my offering to you.
Dear Miss Maya,

I got your letter a few years back.
I laughed and cried and walked a mile in your shoes.
You told your stories so well with such honesty and openness.
Your grandmother was a true woman of God.
I liked how your father handled your pregnancy news. I wish fathers such courage for their daughters.
I loved your free spirit, your music days and how you learnt Spanish.
I loved your trip to Ghana and Morocco and how they honored you with a drink, you thought was a prank and even worse, you thought the dates in the drink were roaches?! you vomited your guts out! *that was funny*
You were invited to the big important dinner and because of cultural differences, you walked all over what you thought was a rug, but it was actually the table to be used for setting up the dinner. I truly felt that cringe moment too.
I loved your days with Martin Luther and the civil rights movement.  You school days in the all “white” girls school. I was inspired.

I loved your dedication and love for your son. You quit the stage took a flight and a ship all the way back to New York because he was the most important thing.
The old lady who owned the building you were living in with your son, who ALWAYS volunteered to make you dinner even though she was a terrible cook. *that was funny too* I could imagine you and your son making faces at each other.
I loved your mother’s sense of style, her big house and her red rice! I admired your dedication and discipline. I loved how you would NEVER EVER ask your mother to help you out even when you truly needed it. You were a grown woman, it was your responsibility.
I remember when you slipped into some sort of depression; you broke down in front of your friend. He gave you a yellow notebook and asked you to write something nice about yourself.  Yellow notebooks have never been the same again.
Every time I saw a yellow notebook, I remembered your friend. I remembered you. I remembered something good about myself.

You told your story on abuse and how that young man almost beat the life out of you. I felt sorry for you but mostly for him. He was delusional and sick. Your mother rushed to your rescue like wonder woman. Both your courage and hers heroic.

Thank You Miss Maya.



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