Thursday, June 12, 2014

Honoring Maya Angelou

I was on the treadmill at the gym when my husband pointed at the TV. Because it was far away, I couldn't make it out.

I took my ear buds out, hoping it wasn't anything bad. "What happened?"

"Maya's dead," he said.

Dead? Maya Angelou?

My heart sank.

My husband and I just watched Maya on Oprah's Master Class TV show weeks ago. It was May 11th to be exact. On Mother's Day. I snuggled up on the couch and spent the day watching Oprah's AMAZING Master Mind and enjoyed every minute of it.

When I came across Maya, I felt so honored and blessed to get to know her through her story. I remember feeling grateful to have known her while she was still alive. Little did I know she wouldn't be with us much longer.

I knew a little bit about Maya, but very little. I knew she had inspired millions and that she was a poet and speaker, but I never heard her entire story nor had I ever watched her on TV.

As I watched her speak there was something about her sweet spirit and inspiring words that made me want to reach into the TV and give her a great big hug. I tried to find a way of contacting her but to my dismay, I never could locate her contact info. I wanted to write her a personal note to let her know how much she touched my heart and soul.

Here are a few things I learned about the beautiful Maya Angelou in Oprah's Master Mind class:

When Maya was seven-years-old, she was taken from her grandmother by what she calls her mother's people. She was raped by her mother's boyfriend. Maya confided in her nine-year-old friend about the incident and he told the family.
The man was put in jail for one day and one night and then released.

Maya later learned, the man was found dead. It appeared he was kicked to death.

From that point on, she thought her voice had killed him so she stopped talking. For six years she became a mute. Her mother's people sent her back to her grandma. Her grandma gifted her a notebook and ties a pencil to it. Maya kept this close at her side.

At eight-years-old, Maya started reading and discovers she loved poetry. When she reached twelve and a half years old, she read many poetry books, but it isn't until a lady in her neighborhood brought Maya books, that she's encouraged to read.

The neighborhood lady shook a finger in her face and harassed her for months for not speaking. She'd say, "You'll never love poetry until you speak it."

One day, all alone, Maya tried to recite a poem and finds her voice. She started talking and never stopped.

If that doesn't get you to find your voice, I don't know what would. I leave you all with some amazing Maya Angelou quotes and a glimpse of the video that stole my heart.

I can wholeheartedly say, Maya is one of the most beautiful souls that have ever existed. She truly is an inspiration and have touched many lives. May she touch the angels in heaven and rest with them in peace. I for one will never forget you Maya Angelou!

"Find a rainbow in your cloud. The light is always there. Yours to seek and to find."

"Be a blessing to somebody."

Her grandmother would tell her, "Sister, when you get give, when you learn, teach."

"Love liberates."

"Try to be the best human being you can be. You can decide life isn't worth living and that would be the worst thing you could do. How do you far. Try it and see. Pick up the battle and make it a better world. It can be better and it will be better but it's up to us."

Lessons to live by indeed!

Remembering Maya Angelou

Maya's Last Tweet:




Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Martha. Nice post to honor Maya Angelou.

Martha Ramirez said...

Thank you so much, Susanne!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

What a wonderful tribute to Maya. xox