Thursday, May 11, 2017

Standing On The Shoulders of Giants

Bernard of Chartres compared us to dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants

He pointed out that we see more and farther than our predecessors

Not because we have keener vision or greater height

But because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature

I call it “getting a panoramic view of life”

I started to stand on the shoulders of my first grade teacher

Ms. Robinson

And shoulders of giants ever since

One of the family giants that I admire the most is my great aunt Lydia

She was born circa 1895

She died when she was 94 or 95 years old                                     

When she was about 65, she found God and never turned back

Simultaneously, she thought she was dying and wrote her own obituary

When she died about 30 years later

Her sister, Aunt Marion, found her obituary in one of her drawers

The minister read it at her funeral, as his sermon

It was entitled,”A Hard Life”

She only went to the second reader (the second grade)

But taught herself how to read

She could read anything that any college graduate could read

What an accomplishment

When she visited us from time to time when I was a teenager

I would go into her room every day and listen to her speak to me

She passed on to me great words of wisdom

She told me to read every day the 121st Psalm

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help….”

As a young woman, she nursed and breast fed White babies

Till this day,   I don’t understand why

A White mother would permit a Black woman  to suckle her child

To receive nutrients and life from her milk

If being Black was such an enigma, in this historical time

All of her life, whenever she left the house going wherever, she never looked back

If you called her, she would never turn around

You would have to run and get in front of her

She said that she would never be a Lot´s wife

Who looked back and turned into a pillar of salt!! 

At the age of 75, she could bend down and touch her toes without struggle

It was amazing to see her do it!!

I am so blessed to have known her and to have learned from her

Indeed and without controversy, I stand on the shoulders of giants!!

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