Sometimes gifted writers, choose Maya Angelou, feel like a friend because they invite you into their heart and also mind through such a generosity of spirit. That no wonder the millions approximately the human being are grieving she death. Though we didn’t ‘know’ her, us came into her civilization through the 31 books, essays, plays and poetry the she therefore eloquently wrote. Ns loved introducing her writings v college students.

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In the cacophony that voices of prayer for Angelou’s evocative writings and also dramatic readings, I deserve to imagine she can shout out, “WAIT, WAIT, WAIT! please remember that a couple of very important people came right into my life during pivotal moments. Without your kindness and wisdom, I could never have found my voice. Literally!”

Because for almost five long years, small Marguerite Johnson (now famous as Maya Angelou), to be mute.

A Childhood Experience

As one eight-years old, while living in St. Louis, her mother’s boyfriend raped her and then was murdered. After this life-changing trauma, she came to be unwilling come talk, other than to her brothers Bailey.

Her mom then sent Marguerite and Bailey ago to live again through their grandmother, Annie Henderson, in Stamps, Arkansas. A hard-working entrepreneur, her grandmother own the basic Store in this deep segregated southern town.

After years of remaining silent, she proficient a heart-healing friendship v Mrs. Bertha Flowers, one aristocratic beautiful african American woman who regularly visited the basic Store.

“She handed me my very first life-line,” recalls Maya in she groundbreaking memoir, I understand Why the Caged Bird Sings.

One summer afternoon, to her surprise, Mrs. Flowers invite Maya to come to her house where she served her cold new lemonade and homemade street cookies.

But an ext important, she talked with her around the beauty of the human voice. “I hear you’re law very good school work, Marguerite, but that it’s every written. The teachers report they have actually trouble gaining you to speak in class,” claimed Mrs. Flowers, that loved literature.

“Now nobody is walking to do you talk—possibly nobody can. Your grandmother says you review a lot. Every opportunity you get. It is good, yet not great enough. Native mean an ext than what is collection down ~ above paper. The takes the human voice to med them v the shades of depths meaning.”

The strength of the human being Voice

Then Mrs. Flowers lugged out A story of two Cities and opened the page and read aloud the opening, “It to be the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

“I heard poetry because that the an initial time in mine life,” recalls Maya, mesmerized by the sounds. Mrs. Flowers gave her a book of poems and asked she to memorize one for her. “Next time you salary a visit, I want you to recite.” She ran house that job with books in hand and her love over-flowing. “I to be liked and what a distinction it made. She had made cookies for me and also read to me indigenous her favourite book.”

This began a friendship that Maya knows adjusted her life together Mrs. Flowers introduced her to authors such together Charles Dickens, william Shakespeare, and also Edgar Allen Poe.

Responding to together kindness, Maya started to speak again.

I love her tribute to Mrs. Flowers due to the fact that Maya reminds united state that everyday acts of developing kindness have the right to offer healing balm. What our world would have actually lost if Mrs. Flower failed come act ~ above her issue for a son silenced by pain.

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As families who room living v grief, she story reminds me to never ever underestimate the heart-healing power of kindness, both to give and also receive indigenous one another. Together Maya claims so eloquently, the may also be a ‘life-line.’


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Linda Hunt

Linda Lawrence Hunt, Ph.D. Is a freelance writer, and co-founder of the Krista structure for global Citizenship, and also former Whitworth college professor whereby she directed their distinctive creating Program. After their 25-year-old married daughter passed away while volunteering in Bolivia once a bus plunged over a mountain cliff, Linda and her husband Jim started the foundation in her honor. Together it grew, she left her to teach career to direct the structure that gives a mentoring community and also support for various other young adult in your twenties engaged in a year or much more of business in America"s city centers, in occurring nations, or with environmental projects. She has traveled throughout America and in Germany and also Norway as a keynote speaker after her best-selling book Bold Spirit: Helga Estby"s forget Walk across Victorian America to be published. Reconstruc ting this true story of a mother and also daughter walking unescorted across America on a $10,000 wager to conserve a family members farm involved over 15 year of research. Ultimately she composed her doctoral dissertation top top Helga"s story, with details fascination with what silences family stories because this to be "lost" for over 100 years.Linda and her husband Jim, additionally an author and historian, live in a hillside residence in Spokane, Washington whereby she find nurture and also healing v her enthusiasm for gardening and also friendships.