My lifelong sister friend asked me to speak at her (our) baby sister's celebration of life memorial service. She specifically asked me to "speak like your blog". She had no idea how BIG that felt for me, but I asked the Spirit to give me the words (and make sure I didn't cuss because my mom would be there) and this is what I got.
September marks the five year anniversary of me living in our Nation's capital. While living in the four quadrants is MAD expensive, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I've had some amazing experiences and have seen some of the most extraordinary things. But the everyday NON-extraordinary things are probably the MOST interesting and provide the best life lessons.
First, the homeless. I am never NOT blown away by how many homeless people there are in this city that LIVE in parks. My office is 3 blocks from the White House. I ride the bike home from work most days so I swing by there just to see if everything is alright. I have a vision that one day Michelle is going to be outside doing something extraordinary and she's going to see me on the bike and say "Hey Girl, Hey come on over for peppermint tea!" We're born 9 days apart...we're practically sisters. She's married to the president of these United States and I'm trying to avoid dating men that read with their finger on the page and their lips moving. Something went wrong on my end of this sisterhood. Well, mama doesn't like to fly anyway. So all that Air Force One stuff would be a bit much for her. So it's probably for the best. Anyhoo...the juxtaposition of the homeless that live in the two parks between my office and the most powerful house in the nation - (maybe the world - I don't know because you know, China) is jarring. And because the homeless consider those parks their homes, when you walk through you see the same ones. I've bought them coffee or given them my leftovers and a few of them know my name. I THINK they assume we're friends.
The other thing that REALLY fascinates me is the conversations people have on public transportation. ALLLL walks of life take public transportation. And FAR too many of them talk about stuff we probably don't need to hear. I ride the bus to work almost every day. There is a woman who rides the bus that talks every morning to her girlfriend (or somebody) about her man, Donnell. Based on the conversations, in my estimation she can do better than Donnell. I wonder if the person on the other end of the phone tells her that. One morning Donnell had been involved in a particularly scandalous scenario with another woman. She said "I know that's what she's been doing and what she's gonna keep doing - she's gonna RUN HER MOUTH - CAUSE THAT'S WHAT SHE DO - RUN HER MOUTH. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT and SHE will be known for that the rest of her pitiful LIFE. CUZ THAT WHAT SHE DO!!!"
That brings me to this life we're celebrating today. Like so many of us, I've known Crystal all of her life. When she was first diagnosed, I know it was shocking and DEVASTATING for her and all of us that loved her. But she reached out to her loved ones and said "pray for me in this fight". Because...that's what SHE do. She posted lyrics to her favorite songs "Jesus You're the Center of My Joy" and "We've Come This Far By Faith". I'm reading her lyrics, fighting tears, air fighting and turning on trap music so I don't cry. But she was encouraging herself AND us because..THAT'S WHAT SHE DO! In her dying, she was teaching us how to live, how to handle adversity. When I came home toward the end of April, she was upbeat and funny and talking fast (as usual) and determined and I was in AWE. Because...that's what she do. I thought about each person I've lost to cancer. Each of them has left an indelible image on my heart. Each of them had a positive "that's what she do" about them. Some wonderful characteristic(s) that let me know I've chosen some pretty remarkably awesome people to be my friends. Because...that's what THEY do. I can only hope that when my life is done, my "that's what she do" will be a good thing. I hope that I've encouraged someone, brought light, love and laughter. We should all hope that if we're the person being talked about on public transportation that we're living such a life that our "that's what she do" will be way better than Donnell's other chick.