I Celebrate My Friend, Maya Angelou

Tonight I finished Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou. For those of you who haven’t read it, it is a rather moving collection of essays and poems about Maya’s life. The last few chapters were a bit random and didn’t seem to fit with the feel of the rest of the book, but it was worth the read.

The best part of the book though was the revelation that Maya Angelou sounds just like one of my friends, Winter S. She happens to be a 6′ tall African-American young woman with a fiery passion for life and she has humor and wit that could rival Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act (which by the way is a great movie).

Winter is a woman who will meet you at 7am, after coming off a long third shift, and spend an extra 15 minutes sharing her newest book and/or comical experience to start your day with a smile. She is a strong-willed, independent woman and, not unlike Maya Angelou, she inspires women around her. She encourages them to look at the positive side of any situation, she influences and challenges women around her to aspire to be better to themselves and others.

ImageToday’s society celebrates people with money and power. The media spends all of their time talking and writing about celebrities like Britney Spears, Tom Cruise, and Reese Witherspoon. The media cares about what shoes these people are wearing, where they go shopping, and how much their cars and houses cost.

They celebrate Maya Angelou for her beautiful poetry and insightful memoirs. That’s great, but what about women like Winter? Winter, who makes a difference in other people’s lives not by writing about her own, but simply by living as an example. What about women like Winter who make my life richer and more complete.

Today I celebrate those women. I celebrate Winter, my friend. She shows joy and love to everyone she meets. She is proud of her independence, proud of her character, and so am I. So today I celebrate her friendship and her beauty, inside and out. I celebrate the woman she is and the woman she is becoming every day.