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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Some Type of Way

My sister said it when I announced I was moving away.
"I'm feeling some type of way about you leaving."

I wasn't really sure what she meant by it, but a friend pointed out the beauty of the ambiguous statement. It allows you to feel without having to disclose the feelings. She could be despondent that I'm going or she can be happy as hell. It's up to the person hearing the statement to attach meaning. I have to admit that, this morning, I'm feeling some type of way at the news of the death of Coretta Scott King.

I'm not really sure how to react. As I was watching CNN in the cafeteria, I began to get a little choked up. I shook myself out of it immediately. After all, I didn't know her. When I got the news that Ms. Vivian, a celebrated member of my church and community had passed on Sunday, I kept moving as if someone had told me I had just stepped in doo doo. I said "Oh damn" and scraped the bottom of my shoe. Ms. Vivian deserved a little more reflection than that.

Here was a woman I knew to be kind, caring, committed and conscious and all I could do was comment on how good her timing was, because if she'd waited until next week I would have been gone. Isn't that foul? But yet I get all teary when I hear about a woman I didn't know. She wasn't even a friend in my head. I even got a little bent a few years back when I heard that Morehouse College paid her a substantial salary for being visible. That kind of irritated me. But shouldn't they? She's iconographic.

Just like Jacqueline or Ethel Kennedy, Mrs. King raised her children in an unkind spotlight without the benefit of their father. No less than Jackie, Coretta carried on with grace and dignity. Surely, the children acted out as children do, but she pulled that hair back and went out to greet the day. Someone once referred to the Kings as black royalty. Again, I disagreed. To me, she was always just a woman doing her very best to make it.

I now realize why I got emotional at the news. CNN did it! They got me with all the images and commentary. It was like being at a wake for your mama. She meant so much to so many and she will be missed. No less than Ms. Coretta, Ms. Vivian will be missed. I'm just trying to keep it together so that I can sing her favorite song at her service.

And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

Posted by Rodney :: 5:08 AM :: 5 Comments:

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