I had no idea that Angelou and I would hit it off like this. I mean, I met her in a whirlwind weekend back in 1995; she graduated law school in Florida on a Saturday, and got hitched on the Sunday. I walked around the wedding in a borrowed African caftan, hiding behind a video camera, feeling way nervous about being introduced to damn near every member of my then-boyfriend’s (now-husband’s) family, but especially his beloved little sister, who seemed so hip and worldly and fresh. Iconic, to hear Nick tell it.
Angelou put on no airs. Just opened her arms and welcomed me to the family.
And slowly, steadily, surely, she became the sister I never had—my giggle partner, my retail therapy enabler, the co-president of my “We Love Black Movies Unconditionally—Even the Bad Ones” club, my “girl you ain’t gonna believe this!” confidante, my shoulder to cry on… no questions asked. She wears my shoes; I borrow her purses. A fiercely independent businesswoman (Angelou is an environmentalist who founded Greening Youth, her own non-profit environmental education program for kids), she gives me advice on running my own company and coaxes me to get out more—I whip up coconut cakes and 11-cheese macaroni & cheese for her holiday parties and hook up her music collection with Chrisette Michelle and vintage Teena Marie. Our children are the best of friends, as are our husbands.
And somehow, we never tire of one another.
I love my husband for many reasons, a big one being that he has a little sister who inspires me—to be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, and a better woman, especially to myself. Every girl deserves a bestest friend like this—the one ready to run to the wall full speed with a rocket strapped to her back, just for you. For sure, Angelou is that friend to me—not the one who would bail me out of jail, but the one who would be sitting right next to me in the jail cell, talking about, “Damn, that was fun!”
The one who is as close to a sister a sisterless girl could get.
Happy *mumbles age under breath, into palm of her hand* birthday, my love. Here’s to family, friendship, camaraderie, and, above all else, love. May you be blessed with the years it’ll take to see the success you want, the happiness you deserve, and some great, great grands.
Live your life like it’s GOLDEN.