Today the news came out that Maya Angelou passed away in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the age of 86. She was perhaps most famous for her bestseller autobiography ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings‘ as well as many other inspirational writings. She was a mentor for Oprah Winfrey, and read poetry to Presidents. She described herself as a poet in love with the ‘sound of language’. Her words were inspirational to millions.
One of my favorite quotations from her is as follows: “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I will miss you Maya Angelou. You were more beautiful than a sunrise. As I write this post tonight, I am mixed with feelings of sorrow and emptiness. The world feels much more colder without you in it. My only consolation is that you left behind your words of wisdom and inspiration for us to enjoy forever. Thank you for your time among us, and for giving us these precious gifts.