Never Forget-Write to Remember

Writers are ask to keep pen and paper nearby at all times. One never know when opportunity may present itself. You may have a thought late at night. Keep pen and pad on your night stand. Trust me, if it is not written down, you will forget it by morning. Another example often used, keep pen and pad in your car. At your very next traffic or stop sign, write a phrase or a word down that brings that thought to your mind.
For instance, yesterday I saw a black cat perched upright like a dog on a hill near my house. I was thinking, I hope that black cat does not cross my path. The cat turned and looked at me snobbishly. I’m sure the cat was thinking, “I certainly hope that black woman don’t cross my path”. Farther down the road I saw children at play.
Strange enough, the children reminded me of the days I taught at W. C. Davis Elementary School in Birmingham, Alabama. One year, a little third grader constantly needed my attention. From time to time we had little private talks. Near the end of that school year her behavior suddenly changed. Someone in her neighborhood started taking her to church. One Friday, she came to school wearing a beautiful white dress.
Out on the playground, I ask why she was wearing that beautiful dress to school. She told me it was her baptism dress. We were both extremely excited about her baptism. We talked for a minute then she ran off to play with her classmates. Why her behavior reminded me of Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, I am not sure.
First she danced a solemn measure, very slow in step and gesture. She danced in and out among her classmates. Playfully running through the shadows and the sunshine. Her tread was soft like a panther. Then more swiftly and swifter, whirling, spinning in circles, she leaped laughingly between her classmates. Till the dust and the wind on the playground swept together around about her.
By that time, the school bell rang and I was transported form the shores of Gitche Gumee. I was no longer by the shinning Big-Sea-Water. I was no longer by the wigworm of old NoKomis. According to the North American Indians, old Nokomis was the daughter of the Moon. I was no longer at Hiawatha’s Wedding Banquet.
Monday came. I called roll and she did not answer. I wanted to know from those living near her in the South-town Projects if they had seen her over the weekend. They all said no. Silence for a moment, then one brave child told me she was dead. Over the weekend some neighbor had left something out that looked like cool-aid. She drank it and the angels came and got her. Her death certificate read Meningitis. She had a glass encloser over her casket.
I was too heartbroken to cry. Her Pastor, Pastor Grisson, gave her a wonderful  befitting Eulogy. All of her classmates were there. We were all heartbroken but we knew God wanted her to be with Him. Now, as I drive pass the old church, with it’s roof caving in, I remember and write. A life gone too soon.
The poem Hiawatha was first written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song of Hiawatha was composed by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. The Symphonic Orchestra of New Orleans, La. played it while Dillard University Symphonic Choir under the directions of Dr. Fredric Hall, sang it.

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