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  • Writer's pictureCamp Goldston Publishing, LLC

Great Eastern Sun Rising

A Tribute to the Life of Rosa Lee Evans Lawson

Author: Gloria Lawson Sylvester

Great Eastern Sun Rising, 91 life-enhancing rotations evolving lived experiences of a warrior woman walking the path of faith, stewardship, and due diligence, investing her value system in the dash from 1925 – 2017.

Great Eastern Sun Rising, 21 life-giving rotations living on a farm as a farmer’s daughter and elder sister, until the Second Great Migration, an exodus of African Americans from the South, called her northward.

Great Eastern Sun Rising, 69 rotations serving as a dedicated member of her church, a church clerk, leading youth organizations supporting other parents, her children present when doors opened and closed.

Great Eastern Sun Rising, 70 rotations devoting her value system of compassionate love in her seven children: God, character and reputation, education, work ethic, ownership, community and civic involvement.

Great Eastern Sun Rising, nearly 60 rotations being a dedicated wife, fulfilling her marriage vows, building a respectable life, and modeling for her daughters, sons, and others, until death do we part.

Great Eastern Sun Rising, 40 rotations contributing her skills to the American economy exemplifying a visionary work ethic for moral benefit, personal dignity, achieving her goals one by one.

Great Eastern Sun Rising, 30 rotations before sunset boasting a powerful legacy as matriarch of 4 lineages, and 52 children, grand, and great-grand the dash abutted 9/12/17, surrendered all.

Great Eastern Sun Rising, 91 rotations celebrating this new day dawning absent in body, present with the Lord, cherishing the memories of the dash 1925 – 2017. Farewell, Ma, Nanny, aunt, sister, sister-in-law, cousin, friend, neighbor, and former co-worker. We love you and miss you already. Three deep bows to you in gratitude.


On the Path:

“Sometimes in life, a sudden situation, a moment in time, alters your whole life, forever changes the road ahead.” Ahmad Ardalan, Baghdad: The Final Gathering

I chose to take a mindfulness walk this past Saturday and then stopped to nourish my body with a little bit of raw collard green slaw and raw broccoli salad from Whole Foods. Choosing to sit outside the store rather than go directly home, taking in the beautiful weather and sunshine. I looked to the sky and observed billowing pure white clouds against a radiant blue sky. I thought as I smiled, “Ma, you are everywhere.”

After a while, a woman drove up in a vehicle and parked perpendicular to the window where I sat. As she stepped out, I was attracted to her two-toned vintage above the knee frilly, ruffled, effeminate dress, her hips swaying, ruffles dancing as she walked around the back of her vehicle to the other side, opened the back door, and assisted an elderly woman out, holding her dearly and very close. The middle-aged woman was very caring to the elderly woman moving with a slow gait, slightly humpback; we smiled at one another as they walked passed me and into the store. After a brief few minutes, they exited the store and chose to sit two tables ahead of me. She guided the elderly woman backward to the chair forcing her to bend her hips and sit. I observed intently as I began to feel my attentiveness to my mother in similar ways. I believed the elderly woman to be her mother as she lifted the lid from a paper plate, picked up a fork, and began to feed her. She leaned into her mother, rubbed noses, and offered her another fork full. My eyes glanced downward as I felt my mother and felt gratitude for the caring I gave to her almost right up to her last breath.

I felt an impetus lift me from my chair. I walked toward them, introduced myself, and acknowledged, “I admire the nurturing you give her; my mother died a couple of weeks ago, and you are a mirror to remind me of the way I cared for her. Thank you.” Then I said, “I am a hugger. May I hug you and her?” She welcomed me with open arms and condolences. I then hugged the elderly woman, returned to my seat feeling satisfied and grateful. Then it occurred to me, like an epiphany, my mother, in spirit form, was sitting in the chair across from me. She is everywhere.


-Gloria Lawson Sylvester

“I am my ancestors and a Sacred African Woman Elder appreciating my value and service to the global community. The expression of my worth comes through the arts of poetry, visual art, music, and professional speaking.”

Profile: An author, poet, professional speaker, workshop presenter, and appointed Poet Laureate of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel in 2000, Gloria published her first book of poetry, Prelude A Demonstration of Life (2000) and College Planning and Funding Handbook (1994), acted as Poet-in-Residence in private and public schools (including special education students) teaching character development principles through her personal project, Self-Empowerment Through Poetry. Gloria will be publishing two books of poetry in 2018, including one for children.

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