My colleague calls me and says, “how about featuring Dr. Maya Angelou?” I immediately felt discouraged because POSE was just a small, new media outlet and she was talking about featuring an ICON on the cover. “What do you think?” she continued. I could only think, “where do we begin to find contact info?!” Soon after this call, she had located Dr. Angelou’s attorney who made it clear we would not be sending an email to pursue a meeting with poet, historian, educator, Dr. Angelou. Rather, we would have to send her a letter…through snail mail. Nervousness resurfaced. “Will she even reply?,” my doubtful thoughts continued…and expanded.
Shortly thereafter, I received a call from one of Dr. Angelou’s assistants to schedule an interview. I couldn’t believe it. I was so honored. The fact was, an entire magazine could be written on her life. How was I going to get “her essence” in just fifteen minutes? During the interview, I learned about the importance of being a matriarch; I learned about having absolutely no regrets and embracing the lessons; I learned about the difference between false modesty and true humility; I learned what it meant to be a confident, decided woman about her time (because Dr. Angelou, in her most loving and strong way, made it very clear how much time she could spend with me). On that call, she told me about her life but she showed me the promise of mine.
With her as the inspiration, we thought to interview twenty-four other individuals doing amazing exploits and dedicated the issue to”The Most Inspiring People.”
My heart dropped as I learned two days ago how troubled Dr. Angelou’s health had become. It was Monday, May 26th. I began thinking about her long, well-lived, and effective life and a smile started to spread from cheek to cheek. I realized how peaceful one could be as their body and spirit began to distance one from the other. There is amazing peace when you know you have done everything God put you on earth to do. When you can guarantee you have not taken for granted opportunities to positively impact someone else’s existence, you can rest. When you know your life was used to give glory to your Creator, you can exhale with joy. When you have left a legacy in kind and in deed, you know you will arrive in Heaven empty.
Today. May 28, 2014.
Dr. Maya Angelou passed away and if they truly party in Heaven, I know her dancer legs are showing out. The spirit of her legacy will never fade. May we all be able to say the same one day.