Uplifting your Words
Dedicated to Loretta Williams
Oh how I miss the joy and pride in your voice when I would call you after an event or a trip. For this latest one, I would say and I did say to you out loud, ‘Loretta, it was historic, I was moving as my full self, no holding back and it felt great. I did it just the way you would, open to share and to receive.’
I have been blessed to have women in my life who I know could not replace my mother yet whose love and guidance have been comforting to me in such a way that I feel safe and loved unconditionally by each of them.
Loretta was one of these women. I give thanks that I learned from an early age to share your feelings with those you love. I was able to do this with ease, with Loretta.
Loretta, thank you for sharing your light with me. You were my voice of reason, my voice to never give up. You believed in me and the journey I was on and that of Encuentro Diaspora Afro.
You added that support and believe by helping us craft our mission and vision statement. You opened doors for me that I will cherish as I sit honoring your words. I was and will continue to be proud of saying, Loretta Williams is my mentor!
I will miss coming back from an event, a presentation and sharing the experience with her and hearing the joy in her voice. It feels like yesterday when I called to share the experience of the Reparations Summit. She was so happy, so proud because this was an issue dear to her. It was no accident that her wisdom and sharing of her journey landed me in spaces she had been in. I took it seriously that I was an extension and representation of her.
Loretta introduced me to the grounding writing of J California Cooper. Our monthly, sometime weekly, get together and chats were my gathering and regrouping time, with good food, your book collection and your company.
Loretta never said, I can’t talk now or we need to reschedule, even during her last days. She was still attending our meetings and sharing her wisdom and knowledge as we moved forward in planning our upcoming conference. She always made time for me, for us, for this, I will always say, thank you.
Loretta was present for many others through her amazing career and journey as a leader in the community. She did it with such ease and grace. We will continue to honor her in the Encuentro Diaspora Afro space. We will begin doing so by dedicating our upcoming conference to her. Her words will continue to uplift the true spirit of Pan Africanism and Unity.
Before I received the news of her transition, the song Amazing Grace was coming in and out of my thoughts. It felt as if she was preparing me to receive the news. This hymn is a family favorite and has always brought a sense of peace.
That same peace came over me as I struggled with the news of her transition. I then found myself leaning on the knowing that her light will always be around, her words will also be present in my thoughts and she will always be with me.
Loretta, I will continue to do my best to uplift your words in the best way that honors everything you taught me and shared with me. Thank you for always making me feel heard and loved. My journey was enriched by your presence.
Rest in Peace my Queen.
With love and light,