Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Memoir

On July 4th my aunt, Norlishia A. Jackson, succumbed to ovarian cancer. My life and our family will never be the same.

Aunt Nor was a freelance writer. From the moment she learned of my desire to do the same, she served as a mentor and resource. She posed one question to me every time we spoke. "What cha' workin' on?" It was a gentle reminder to me that as a writer, I should always have a work in progress.

She served as an editor and contributing writer to the
Delta Journal, the primary publication of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Through the years she wrote several speeches for the sorority's past presidents and other national officers. She was also instrumental in chartering the Federal City Alumnae Chapter here in Washington, DC. Her work was so profound in Delta that prominent members of the sorority, poet Nikki Giovanni and Dr. Gloria R. Scott (the first African-American to serve as president of the Girl Scouts of America and past president of Bennett College) knew her well and made special trips to speak at the service.

Aunt Nor was creative, funny, giving, loving, and a take-no-stuff sort of woman - all at the same time. She was the best story teller I've ever known. She could tell a story that would make you laugh days, months, even years later. She loved our large extended family and kept us connected through gatherings, newsletters, and a family directory that she created. She was crazy about her sisters and even crazier about her grandchildren, or should I call them her "diva-children" (She refused to be grandma so "Diva" she was).

I could go on and on and on but I won't. Instead, with a grateful and heavy heart, I'll simply say...

I miss you and love you so much Aunt Nor.


Michelle Cummings said...

Beautifully said! You certainly inherited your aunt's knack for storytelling. Love it and love you too!

arthella said...

thanks for sharing your reflection!

Melodye said...

What a loving tribute and what lovely memories you have.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog time and time again. These are such beautiful words and told in such an inspiring story. Aunt Nor was indeed a breath of fresh air! Reading those words gave me a sense of connection to Aunt Nor. Sometimes inspiration shows up on the doorstep of peoples homes we never entered. Thank you Cheryl. From the dancer.