“The key to lasting friendship and why Gayle and I have it for sure” … it’s the August 2019 cover of Oprah Magazine! I called you to share this information for a couple of reasons. We both love Oprah and wanted to meet her and… this cover is iconic because for the first time in history, Oprah is sharing the cover with her best friend Gayle. Its only been a handful of times in the 20 year history of the magazine that anyone other than Oprah is on the cover. And because that tagline… is us! I called but you didn’t answer. I knew you were probably resting as it was a rough couple of days and you last shared you were just getting home from the hospital but not to worry, just focus on Gale (another friend, another story)
A few days later, early on a Saturday morning, I was delighted to see a text from you… but it wasn’t… I have to admit, I doubled over and bawled like my heart ached. Actually my heart did ache. SN: You won’t be happy about the explicit words. I wasn’t ready my friend.
I’ve been on the go every since the day after your Life Celebration. Perhaps deliberately staying so busy, I didn’t have to process it but today… today I sat down to get caught up and reached for the phone to tell you all the happenings and realized…. my conversations with you will never be the same. I almost called anyway, just to hear your voice if it was still on your voicemail. Yes, my heart literally aches.
I’ll share here what I shared on your FB page… (with a few edits)
I’ve been struggling to find the right words to express what you meant to me…
A mentor/mom is the best way I could find to describe it – although I’m not sure how you would feel about that as most people didn’t even know you were old enough to be my mom. I know very many people have used the word mentor to describe you and rightfully so as you were the force behind so many in our community – always, always looking out for other people, but our bond was something special. From the first day I met you over a decade ago, you have been unwaveringly in my corner. There was never a time you didn’t support and uplift me. Making sure I had a seat at the right tables.
At most events and happenings around town, I was your plus one, sat at many of tables because of you, met many wonderful, progressive powerful people because of you , I’ve learned from you , grown because of you.
Given we shared the same last name, many would ask if I was your daughter, I think in spirit I was. Our road trips whether it was goodwill hunting, visiting our state capitol, teaching Diversity classes or most recently and epically going to see Michelle Obama live was life giving. We shared life, memories, concerns, dreams and aspirations. Traded laughter, tears, belts and scarves and lions and elephants (most of you will get this)
A Force. A Powerhouse. An Entire Movement By Yourself. In our inner circle we kinda knew… “you don’t say no to Gail” but it didn’t matter because we knew that 99.9% of the time whatever you were asking was mostly beneficially to us.
You are so missed my friend. You assisted, supported, sponsored, partnered with, shared information, guided any and every organization or person who asked or you felt needed it.
You called yourself a CHANGE MAKER. I hope you knew you were a LIFE CHANGER
They say the most important way to honor our ancestors is to fulfill our personal potential and life’s purpose here on earth. I dedicate my positive actions to you.
I honor you.