Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Who inspires you?

Last Friday my mother called me and informed me that me first elementary school principal had died in a car accident. An 18 wheeler hit her head on.  This shook me up more than I thought. What also bothers me was that I found out that she was at my grandmother's funeral and I didn't even get to see or speak to her.  When I heard the news of her death it made me think about who she was in my life. She was a church member, mom's sorority sister, family friend, and a role model. I remember vividly the one time I got in a fight in elementary school and how she spoke to me and how I was punished. The fact that she knew my mom that came up in the speech to me "what would your mother think?" Already knowing that my mother had been called and was on her way to pick me and a butt whopping is waiting for me when I got home.

This was a story I remembered about her growing up, but now as I am an adult I also begin to thing about the influence she had on my as a child. She was a black woman with poise, elegance, and authority, a woman I inspire to be.  She set an example for a lot of young girls to see, considering at the time the school was in the "hood" and girls might not have seen those types of role models in their home. Although I might not have realized it then, I know now that many of the women and men that I saw growing up have been inspirations to me.

From my aunt Mary who didn't have a high school education, but was an avid reader and a lady of faith. She worked hard every day and loved unconditionally.  To Mr. Branch who was the first music teacher I ever had in school and who ended up being my piano teacher in later years, showed me a love for music that continues to this day. To Ms. Yancy at my church who served faithfully who had a humbleness about her that still inspires me. Although we had few interactions when we did interact it left an impression. To Ms. Thompson my first Sunday school teacher, who did not look at my crazy in my first day of Sunday school when I asked her what was before in the beginning (always been a person who asks a lot of questions). To my grandmother who had a Master's degree from college when most black people were not even going to college. Or Professor Troxel my ONLY female college professor in the school of engineering while I was at Vanderbilt. She was not "stiff" like most of my professors were, you could tell she was a wife, a mother, a friend, AND a great engineer. She had a love for what she did and she balanced it well. Or Mrs. JuJu, as I like to call her, she has the loving title of my "white grandmother." Her life of faith and how she has lived her life financially responsibly (hard to put in words) has showed me so much. From loving others, to budgeting, and how to learn from our struggles.

I could probably go on and on and on about the people who have inspired me. There have been so many, and I take grains from all of them. They have helped shape me into who I have become today.  I am not perfect, but a work in progress....I grow daily and seek inspiration in everyone I encounter.....even the homeless people I buy papers from on my way to work, they have a story and they too give me inspiration.

So I pose this question to you.....Who inspires you?

Side note.....I have been in a funk lately....but I am really back this time, will write about later.

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