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Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

Yesterday, as I combed the internet looking for contact information for my best friend from high school (Mike), I came across the obituary of his mother, Laura McAfee.  Apparently, she passed back in August, which shouldn’t have been surprising, as she was in her eighties.  Yet, I was somehow caught off guard, and a profound sense of loss swept over me as I looked at her picture.  My association with this remarkable woman dates back over 35 years, when her son became my closest friend.  It was a season in my life when I was floundering to find my identity, and this wonderful family turned out to be a God-send.  Though Mike and I didn’t necessarily make great decisions together, our friendship was as substantial and genuine as any I’ve ever experienced.  At a time when I desperately needed someone (other than my own family) to believe in me, he did; and so did his mom.  When I joined the military, it took our lives in different directions, but whenever I was trying to get in touch with Mike, I always knew to start with Mrs. M.  She and I had many wonderful conversations over the years, and I sensed an incredible depth to her being (i.e. intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually).  As a black woman, born in the south, during the 1930’s, I can only imagine the tales she could have shared; but this highly intelligent, highly educated woman never let our conversations be about her.  Instead, she was a fountain of warmth and wisdom to and for me.  I suppose that shouldn’t have been surprising either, as her life’s work had been that of a teacher.  Last night, as I sat at my computer, I found myself wishing that I had asked her more questions about her life, and had thanked her more profusely for her generosity toward me.  I can’t help but lament that the opportunity to do so is now lost.  Thankfully, I’m the sort of person who believes that there is another life that comes after this one, and I have every confidence that this beautiful soul has taken up residence in that place.  Her legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of her two amazing kids (Mike and Michelle), and in her grandchildren.  Her memory has haunted me today, and so I decided to pen this little tribute.  For me, it is not sports figures, celebrities, or heads of state that have ever been my heroes, it is people like Laura McAfee, whose amazing heart touches the people around them.  Rest in peace my dear friend.

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