A true story taken from three glimpses in my life and the women who gave me the insight.
|Over the past few days, I had had at least three occasions when I was so humbled by those who reached out and touched me.
Carolyn White- Washington was one of those people. We got on the phone together around 7:30/8:00 a.m., and we spent the morning talking about the help women need, the need for quality services for women, and how we could continue doing the good work to help these families. Nearing the end of our conversation, Carolyn, started asking me questions and, of course, I responded on hanging up, I realized that I had been given one of the highest honors another woman can give another woman or person for that matter, she had shared and sought advice from an older woman. I was WOWed! Then I reflected further, and received the final gift, she asked, what can I do to help you with your work? She, Carolyn White- Washington, gave me a cashier's check to cash anytime the need arose. AWESOME Carolyn, and thank you.
My second humbling moment came via email -- I get tons of those, and when I am overwhelmed with them and know that I just cannot catch up, my daughter knows my magic trick, and suddenly, I have no more emails. That magic trick helps me to stay focus and on top of my game. Emails are replaceable, but not my sanity. I digress. A few days ago, I got an email from another friend, Ellen Curtsail. I met Ellen some years back at the Maryland Municipal League (MML) in Ocean City. We clicked. From then on, we worked on committees and stayed in touch. Ellen's reason for sending me the email was that she had been profiled in one of her newspapers (great article, by the way), and one of the questions they asked her was (Whos is (are) your role models?" Guess who was one of the people chosen? You guessed it -- me. By the time I finished the article, I was almost in tears. WOW! Me? Thank you so much, Ellen Curtsail, for your kind words and actually putting me on blast.
The last humbling moment came yesterday from multiple sources. Another one of my supporters and strangely enough, also named Carolyn A. Samuel-King, has been providing me with food and other supplies for years. A few days ago, I told her that she needed to stop sending me stuff after her initial delivery. I am tired and need a break. Well, on Thursday, she had delivered my requested number of boxed dinners (each box has seven dinners, drinks, fruit cups, bread, utensils, etc.). So I took my time to remind her "not" to send any of her leftovers the next day for me to distribute. THANK GOD that she does not listen to me!
Well, I got rid of all of my boxes of food and came to my computer to check emails. Well, there was an email from a young woman who had gotten boxes of food from me before. Her request, "Mayor Miles, please, if you can, set aside or hold 2 or 3 boxes for me. I really could use them this week." Guess what? Every box was gone! Next step? Call Carolyn, and ask for help. Do you have any of those boxes of food leftover? Girl, I really really need three. Like the angel she is, she said, how many do you need, and I am going to look around to see what else we can help that family with today.
The next moment of humility. I called and emailed the woman with the good news, and she came by to pick up her food. As she was struggling to get the food to her car, I was doing my usual -- chatting away, and I am not sure what I said, but when she attempted to respond, I heard the tears in her voice. I asked her to please put the boxes down and talk to me. She put the boxes down, but she could not speak. She tried, but she knew, and I knew that if she opened up that well, she would not be able to close it.
So, I talked. I told her some of my story as a young woman, a single mother, a worker, a caregiver, and the struggle from then to now. She listened intensely. She never ever told me her story, but when I asked if she would share, she said, "Mayor Miles, you already know!" She thanked me, and I regretted as I often do these days, that I could not give her a Malinda Miles bear hug. She left, and I ran to my phone and called Carolyn A. Samuel-King. I thanked her over and over again for not listening to me and for having more boxes of food for me to give out. I told her that being tired had nothing to do with the struggle or the need and that her support was forever appreciated.
HUMBLED! I have always known that you can't judge a book by its cover even when you read the summary on the back. Only when you read the book (at least twice), do you get a better understanding of the story that is being told.
Thank you to all of these beautiful women and others who daily shape my life. Believe it or not, some of the beautiful women in my life that also keeps me humble are direct descendants of me.
Nneka Barnes, Ashika Miles, Tatiyana Miles, Khiarah Williams, Eriyana Miles Barnes, Shalinda White, Tonya H. Miles, Genevia Wiliams, Jaylin Miles, and of course, my namesake, Miss Malinda Barnes. I look at all of you, and I see so clearly my future in you in the years to come! Power on WOMEN!
Peace and blessings always.