We are family, if we open our hearts

Sometimes we have clients that are just about the work or project. Not the business model I have ever chosen for myself and the older I get the more I understand why. After all, we work WITH people. People have emotions and lives that can and usually do interfere with or enhance their daily work efforts. The more we get to understand and care about the people we work with, the better we become at building on our experiences to help create a greater good……….together.

I recently found myself at the Fountain of Praise House of Worship. I choose the word House as I felt at home. One might think it would feel awkward being literally the only white woman surrounded by what was a few thousand African Americans (and perhaps recent African immigrants)  that LOVED Miss Barbara. I had never met this woman, but I am pretty certain I got to know her.

As I left the service I felt a true sense of healing. I replayed what I could remember. From the first hymn belted out by the choir, I felt such a stirring in that very deep place we perhaps do not access enough. That place with no words, that protects us. I can not really recall my own Mother’s funeral service. But, as I watched Pastor Mia walk arm and arm with her Father down the aisle to say goodbye, I shared a kindred sisterhood with my friend. And yes, between the music and the visuals, my own grief came flooding back as did tears stream down my face. Because, I knew what Mia had been through and what she will perhaps now experience. Sure when I walked down the long aisle to view the body and pay respects, I could feel ALL eyes peeled on me and almost hear the question “who is that woman?”. I also know it was just another way to be in someone else’s shoes. How many times do my friends of any color find themselves as the first member of the new worlds they forge? Our Rabbi discussed this very concept on Yom Kippur (the day of Atonement) as to how we treat strangers in our Synagogue.

Truth be told, the Celebration of Miss Barbara’s life was not an “endurance test” as many would think. As a Jewish woman we have “services that are endurance tests”, but our funerals are rather short and to the point. This was a Celebration of a woman’s life. It was all about Faith, Hope, and Love. And for me, the day was just that. I left with such Faith in that which is much bigger than Humans. Hope that more will get to experience the lives of those they live and work with in an intimate way. And LOVE of life and all that is offered through the experience of  living a life full of LOVE.

So perhaps Miss Barbara and Mis Beverly are up there getting to know each other and how they were  very similar Mothers, Wives, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts and Friends. Seems it is what would have brought them together in life. Mia and Nina, thank you for seeing me and choosing to not only work together but live life together. Let the Metamorphosis begin.

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