IN REMEMBRANCE OF MY BABY SISTER….

Finally She is done with the Troubles of This World. Now she dwells in that mysterious realm…where righteous spirits rest

A couple of days ago my baby sis, Claudia Morton, whom I loved more than any words I know can express, danced and joined the ancestors. Being an atheist, I cannot claim to know the name of “that mysterious realm where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death,” as the poet William Cullen Bryant put it in his epic contemplation of death “Thanatopsis.” Yet what I can say for certain is that if there is a paradise beyond this world, where good folks go when they leave us for an afterlife, Baby Sis is there.

I know this because I have never met a finer person in my life. Yet I have met people from all over the world, got to know many of them, and sometimes feel that I have greeted everybody twice. Hence, I have observed a representative sample of what the homo Sapien species has to offer. And Claudia represented the crème de la crème. She was smart, courageous, strong, generous, competent, loving and loyal. Plus she was a chocolate beauty who was elegant of style and manner like her gorgeous pecan tan mom – who shaped and cultivated her and my older sister Melba as if they were rare orchids.

Both of them grew up to be leaders in the educational professions because they deeply believed in the power of education to help all people make full and productive lives. It is a family value, passed on by two generations of female educators that preceded them. Yet beyond all these things Claudia was something different and something more, alas it must go unnamed because I can conjure up no suitable superlatives to accurately describe it – even tho I have command of the language that has nourished many the world’s greatest poets, novelists and dramatist – Shakespeare, Tony Morrison and the King James Bible.

Aside from Claudia’s magnificence as a person, there was the love and admiration she always showered on me; no big brother was ever more richly rewarded with an adoring little sister. About seven years my junior, I was twelve when Claudia was five and she would just tag along behind me all over the house and yard – we lived in Florida at the time and enjoyed spacious front and back yards. And she thought I could do anything!

When I have had some time to reflect, I will have more to say about my baby sister, for there is much worth recounting of her story. She spent her life helping others gain a better life, and there are many success stories that have resulted from her efforts. But at the moment, I must confess that I am puzzled. I am at a lost to explain by what cosmic accident I have outlived her; it seems the natural order of things is out of order…as if the sun suddenly began to revolve around the earth.

Claudia came into this world at the height of the hurricane season in Florida, and departed amidst the fireworks of the 4th of July.  It is no wonder that she was a bundle of energy that was prone to shake things up wherever she went. To make a difference.  Claudia’s memory will live forever in my heart and mind; my unbridled love and admiration for her will never die; and her departure leaves a hole in my soul that can never be filled. And I am certain that if there is any truth to the Bible, when the Saints come marching in…. Claudia will be in their number.

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Playthell G. Benjamin
July 7, 2017
Carliase Pa

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