Although I never met you face to face, I have been in your presence since I was 12 years old. I took your book, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” from Beaumont Middle School’s library and vowed never to return it. I was afraid if I gave it back I would also be giving back my courage.
For years I slept with it under my pillow case, especially on the hard days when flashbacks got the best of me. Naive as it might have been, I believed that your words had the power to seep through my pillow case and give me the courage I would need to speak of my own pain and story one day.
It has taken my many years Dr. Maya, to dig out the diamonds left from and because of the rough places life has taken me. But I still chose, like you taught me- to rise.
In heaven I can’t wait to speak with you and share in person how your story changed my story. I fell in love with words. I discovered the friendships of books-the deeper places a story and a vivid imagination can take you. But most of all I found my own voice Momma Maya and how I had dreamed of one day sharing my soul songs with you.
But you left today.
Your words are at my fingertips, but something about knowing your presence is no longer on this earth is growing a deep void.
And tonight the only way I can begin to fill the emptiness of your imprint gone is with…
…a pen in my hand
…a voice championing freedom on behalf of caged birds
…and once again your book,tonight under my pillow.
Thank you for your life and legacy Dr. Maya-My Phenomenal Star. I love and already miss you.