“Moments in time, are fragments of life, fleeting us second by second. Working with Momma Angelou in 2009, was a moment in time that remains apart of my essence. I am forever enlightened and a better version of myself. Her spirit met mine with kindness and stolen moments just between us, two (2). She thanked me. She hugged me. She called me baby. She carried the weight and the responsibility in each moment. With wisdom she existed, breathed, released (exhaled) in real time. She understood the importance of being present because moments were leading to letting go. With my hands, I wiped her tears, and held her hand. How fortunate are we that pieces of her still exist in between the life lessons and experiences written, within her books. Moments in time, are fragments of life, fleeting us second by second. Forever my muse, Momma Angelou until we reunite again.” ~ Leona Baker
An Excerpt ~ Dr. Maya Angelou, Letter To My Daughter
Over the last few years, and evening the last few months, I have said reluctant goodbyes to friends I have known over forty years. Friends I miss, with who I learned many of life’s sweetest and most painful lessons. I still miss James Baldwin and Alex Haley and the loud talking, shouting, laughing, crying weekends that we shared.
Betty Shabazz is near enough for me to remember what she was wearing when I last cooked dinner for her. Tom Feelings and I produced a book together and he drew a portrait of my late mother, which hangs in my bedroom. I spoke to Ossie Davis a few days before he died and agreed to stand in for him and his wife, Ruby Dee, at an engagement they could not cover in Washington, D. C.
And recently I waved farewell to Coretta Scott King, a chosen sister. As I approach my birthday every year, I am reminded that Martin Luther King was assassinated on my birthday and each year for the last thirty years, Coretta Scott King and I sent flowers or cards to each other or shared telephone calls on April 4th. I find it very difficult to let a friend or beloved go into that country of no return. I answer the heroic question, “Death, where is thy sting?” with “It is here in my heart, and my mind, and my memories.