My mother is 83 years old, just three years younger than Ms. Maya Angelou. My mother is alive and well and I pray that she has many active years ahead. Mom and I have read several of Ms. Angelou’s books and had some lively discussions about the characters, the themes and the messages of her books. When we heard the news on May 28, 2014 that Ms. Angelou passed away, we both felt a sense of loss.
Ms. Angelou’s life took a path very different from that of my mother. My mother lived in a small town, was a stay-at-home mom who raised four kids and was married to my father for 52 years until his death parted them. Mom loves to read, she is smart and continues to educate herself all the time. Books were mom’s gateway to people and experiences in other parts of the world. Ms. Angelou traveled the world and had a variety of adventures that my mother could only imagine, including being a playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer and civil rights activist.
Although their life paths were different, these two women were similar in many ways. Both are classy women with great presence, generosity, compassion and a love for building healthy relationships with people they care about. Both are beautiful and talented with an unusual strength, a special wit and an extraordinary faith in God. Mother is an example of courage, dignity, grace and a role model to women in her community. Ms. Angelou was a role model to women and girls all over the world. My mother hasn't written a book, but she is a regular speaker at churches, women’s ministries, and she hosted a local gospel and program on cable television.
Maybe mom’s life doesn’t seem as glamorous as Ms. Angelou’s did, but to me her life is an incredible gift. I intend to tell her how great she is more often and try to maintain a healthy relationship with her.
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