When elders leave our Being, there is something left to be done. And I don’t mean the arrangements in having to go through the after planning for when they leave. Not at all. When such things happen, there is a void, needing to be filled. The openness demands that one pushes through in completing the legacy, they have left behind. Quite honestly, that’s part of the greater work, when moving forward. It’s the greatest challenge after a loved one has transitioned on. Too often people focus on the transition, the passing of a loved one. And the sad thing is that family members, friends, and loved ones, leave a person there-in the transition period. Quite honestly, that is the true meaning of death. Leaving a person’s legacy, without carrying it through, is the true meaning of a loss. When a loved one has passed; especially, one who gave so much in their walk, life, and faith, it is the responsibility of those family members to multiple that legacy, and to pass it forward to the future generations.
When we talk about faith, and the power of a FAITH-BASED woman, the very Earth begins to shake! When you see the power of a FAITH-BASED woman, you are living in the truth of Heaven’s blessings and celebration on Earth. There are a number of blessings raining down from Heaven’s domain. A faith-based woman, a praying woman is surrounded by the glitters from Heaven’s domain. Strong winds caress her, and surrounding her family members and loved ones. A woman, nourished in her faith, never worries. On the contrary, she is able to move through different terrains lingering in life’s journey. The good. The better. The bad. The worse. Its all part of the dynamics of movement, and how someone is able to maneuver through life’s terrain, even when the intensities continue to rise. Through all of the hardships and struggles, a praying and faith-driven woman stands firm. She comprehends and knows the importance of staying centered, during times of the storm. After all, storms have to go away, sometimes. Its simply a matter of waiting them out; allowing life to carry on, shortly after their departure.
“Not everyone believes in her, but she owns her worth in Yashua Ben Shia, and that is what sustains her.”Creative Momista
In Black American culture, her/history, and heritage, we have those older, Nana figures, who understand what it means to maintain peace. They live their lives in remaining still, in a world filled with chaos. Its why family members run to them, or turn to them, when feeling life’s domain falling apart. Turn to those holistic, Nana figures, and one thing you can expect: Everything is going to be alright. What is so powerful and intrinsic about such grandmothers is that their very image creates peace, in the wake of uncertain times. Oh, how imperative that energy is needed for today’s world! Oh how undermined it is! How people ignore that energy, and don’t understand its significance until such elders have passed on. Yet, when they do leave us behind, there is a wealth of that energy, needing to be collected, safeguarded, and preserved. It must be preserved in order for the next generation to carry on that level of intensity; spreading it during those times, when the world is in a period of instability. Its that manner of comfort and therapy, which is needed when feeling we have lost our way. Then, and only then, does the world not feel so bad. In the case of my own, paternal family, that person is none other than my late grandmother. . .
In her case, the very message of having faith, was an understatement. In fact, she was the embodiment of faith. She walked, breathed, lived, spoke, prayed, slept, ate, and became faith! Faith surrounded her 24-7. It was as if her very presence caused the doors of faith to swing open, and allow the energies to fill her home, and every trace of her footprints. Her words were whispers of faith, and blessed anyone who came into her midst. Growing up as a little girl, and even into adulthood,I witnessed the essence of Biblical Scriptures were sprayed through her home. Remembering those times of traveling to Birmingham, Alabama, and spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s home. Those fond memories of watching legendary films, walking around into the backyard, and simply feeling the abundance of peace. Her cooking of morning breakfast, and those times of annual, Thanksgiving dinners were always exciting times to reflect upon, throughout the coming year. You truly experienced the beauty of family. Grandma’s presence was the center of it all, and created that factor for family to re-unite and reconvene, during periods of uncertainty. Nevertheless, her calming words, and her praying waters, were powerful enough to quiet any doubts we may have had, surrounding the authenticity of family. When entering into Grandma’s house, we knew we were family. Everything was real. Everything was in sync, and in harmony. If you entered her spacing with anger, or if the traces of sorrow filled your heart, immediately, that was removed upon the very sight of her Being.
Sitting and contemplating, I often remember the memorial, and the number of people, who packed the Church, in order to pay respects to a woman, who blessed them with her faith. Honestly, the impact that she had on so many people, was surprising! Of course, I knew she was loved and had friends. However, to see an entire Church community, and greater Birmingham community coming together, in honoring her life’s journey, was phenomenal. The space was intriguing. It was as if this Earthly ceremony was a foreshadow to the honorary ceremony she would receive, upon entry into Heaven’s gates. How the angels would come, perform for her, and celebrate her positioning and placing in Heaven, was being relayed to her at the memorial.
“Faith is building on what you know is here so you can reach what you know is there.”Cullen Hightower
Sitting back and observing the memorial, it was as if attendees were witnessing how things were currently playing out in Heaven. Its as if we had gotten a front row seat to the Heavenly celebration of Mary Clark. The only difference is that in Heaven, there would be angels, surrounding her, and honoring her Being; as the Savior and Creator looked on. There was a greater blessing taking place on that day. Furthermore, we could only imagine how Grandma, Mother, Wife, Sister, Cousin, and Great Aunt Mary Clark was observing her Earthly celebration from Heaven’s paradise. Those of us, who had come to honor her, were experiencing a grander celebration than what we could imagine! Many may not have been aware of it, during the time. Nevertheless, the beauty of such was real. The service of Mary Clark was the living proof in the vastness of her faith. You understand how powerful a woman’s faith is, based on the lives she has touched. The number of people at this celebration were representative of each and every Spirit, who were sent onto a path, in meeting my late grandmother.
When we further examine the role of faith, we are allowed to experience, and observe, the power of that faith, based on how it permeates the space. If there is the essence of calm among a family, after the transition of an elder, it means that the faith is grand. It also translates into an elder having done the work in producing and channeling faith. Channeling faith, so that an infinite amount of it is left for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and those coming after. For Mary Clark, the preservation of her faith is abundant enough for generations and generations of the Clark family to come. The issue is for such richness to be collected, treasured, and preserved by the current generation. Is her faith being carried on, and even shared, as a way to honor the life that she lived, by her family, friends, and loved ones? Now, that’s a very important question. And if not, what is happening, which is presenting the spread of her faith? What is the work needing to take place, in ensuring the faith is restored? Now, we are getting somewhere.
One of the hard things about faith is that sustaining it is hard. When we don’t see things happening, within a certain timing, its easy for one’s faith to become dwindled, or lost. Maintaining, rejuvenating, and re-cycling faith requires hard work. It mandates that people move through the most uncertain and harshest components, while being centered. We cannot leave out the reality, that maintaining one’s faith can also arouse anger. Let’s be honest! Its frustrating-even enraging, at times! When patience goes unperformed, there is a sense of agony in waiting on better times, or the answers we seek. In a terse amount of words, maintaining faith, requires that we have a certain level of strength. On another realm, it requires perseverance. There are different layers happening when it comes to move through our faith. When it comes to growing our faith. So, reflecting back on my grandmother, Mary Clark, I easily become conscious in the wonder of silent strength. Perhaps, it is the secret weapon, in holding onto one’s faith, during times of turmoil.
Grandma Clark was a quiet type. When you are quiet. people take your silence for weakness. People think that being quiet means you are inactive. Nothing could be further from the truth. On another level, silence can serve as an illusion. People are given the image of emptiness. Yet, they are not made cognizant of the wealth, which is hidden in silence. Reflecting on Mary Clark, she was truly a wealthy woman. In fact, the term “wealthy,” is an understatement. I don’t really think there is a suitable term, which can fully convey, the abundance of faith of my late grandmother. Clearly, it will take lifetimes to manifest even a percentage of that, for the future generations within our family. And even, lifetimes will be too soon.
Another beautiful thing regarding the essence of faith of my late grandmother is her classic elegance. Contrary to what many people think, faith does not always have to be hard. It is not always a source of struggle. Yes! There are certain levels of intensities when maintaining one’s faith. Nevertheless, even during the time of struggle and uncertainty, one is able to wear faith in classic eloquence; in the manner, in which it deserves. Grandma Mary Clark was a woman of grace, eloquence, style, and gentility. In fact, I came to learn that her nickname is the natural sweetener of Mother Earth’s delight. Such was a further additive into her femininity. Clearly, faith and femininity goes hand-in-hand. The more I reflect on such, the more I came to understand (and realize) how faith is the center piece for family. In fact, it is the silent force, which keeps family together; no matter how distant one may be. And even in distance, a grandmother’s faith becomes amplified, so that it may spread its wings to protect those, who are part of her. Grandma’s prayers have truly kept many people safe. Grandma’s prayers have saved lives.
So, in moving forward into our grappling with the context of faith, its safe to say that when you have a grand Spirit, as my late Grandmother Mary Clark, the amount of faith is everlasting. It will always be illuminated to those, seeking it. Because she lived in faith, she produced a wealth of it, which cannot be measured, in its true authenticity. Quite honestly, that is when you know the essence of true wealth. Furthermore, when it has come to spreading that wealth, for the wellness of others, you know just how powerful a person was (in their Spiritual faith) in the many faces stepping forward to pay that faith, back!
Grandma, your love and faith keeps us centered, during these uncertain times. You are still here. We just have to find a different of connecting to you. Elevating our minds, bodies, and Spirits to a higher level of your Spirit. In that way, we can reach you. So, as you observe from Heaven’s paradise, kindly know that we are continuing (or at least attempting) to channel your level of faith, into one of expansion. If that collective journey has not begun, well, just know its about to start. Grandma, you have done your part. And, have done it, more than well! Now, the sharing of your faith is in our hands. And through this vow that we take with you, the gentility of your faith, will always push through, in guardianship, of our future plans.
“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.”Proverbs 31: 16-17