Tag Archives: Winston Salem NC

Oprah and Me…

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Dear Oprah,

I saw you on The Talk the other day.  You, once again, moved me.  You talked about leaving a legacy, and how Maya taught you that you never know what that legacy is going to be.

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Let me back up.  You would have loved the Picture Day at my school, back in the 80’s, when I stepped up to have my photo snapped.  As I posed, one of my first grade boys called out, “Mrs. Horton, you look just like Oprah!”  I can’t tell you how I loved that spontaneous remark.  I’ve held you in my heart as a Sister ever since.

My connection with you became stronger, and much more spiritual later, when I heard you tell on your show, about how much you wanted a role in The Color Purple.  You told about how you just finally surrendered to God, that if it be His will, you would get the role.  By the way, you mentioned on The Talk the other day, how badly you wanted that role.  God meant for me to hear of your surrender, because not too many years later, I told God, “I’m out of ideas.  God, I’m giving his to You,” and He put into process the events which changed my life, and led me to His door, literally.

For years, I have tucked into my journal, a page called “Ten Things I Know For Sure.”  You know it.  You composed it.  I have read it over so many times, I have it memorized.  One of them is about gratitude.  I am practicing it everyday.

Here are some other connections:  I live in Winston-Salem, NC.  You know that’s Maya’s town.  I subscribed to your magazine.  Okay…those are stretches, but, “Hey!”  I love road trips.  I think Gayle is great, too.  Still stretching.

So, let’s get back to the legacy…Oprah, I am so happy you impressed the women of The Talk that they have a responsibility.  We all have a responsibility.  We all say things.  I can only pray that the Holy Spirit guides me, and has guided me to say something helpful, and not hurtful.  I just pray my legacy has empowered others in a small way, the way you have empowered me. 

And we will never really know, will we?

Love,

Your Sister/Doppleganger

Many hands make work light…

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I wish you could have seen my friends streaming out of their cars on this very cold December morning. They had smiles of pure joy on their faces, and had come to unload an anonymously donated truckload of 4,000 pounds of food for needy families. It wasn’t just the normal kind of food pantry food, either. There was even fresh produce! Green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob.

Catholics get a bad rap, only second to Muslims in our country, by some people. Unfair and blatant prejudice. Catholics are often particularly misunderstood in the Bible-belt South. I personally have been told that “all the evils of the world could be directly traced to the Catholic Church.” I had one previously friendly person make the vampire banishing cross with his hands in front of his face when he learned I was Catholic. I’m still shaking my head about that encounter.

Most of the American public, and the rest of the world, frankly, like to dwell on their misunderstandings of the original Christian Church, and overlook the significantly major contributions of Catholics over time. Those contributions include The Big Bang Theory, the principles of genetics, the calendar as we know it, art, architecture, music, cartography, world wide education, health care, and even contrary to popular prejudice, extraordinary women who were saints, mathematicians, philosophers, and scientists. Think about it.

So back to those modern day saints who are just regular men and women, who gave up a perfectly good Saturday morning in the middle of the shopping season to make a happy holiday for some families who are in need of a few breaks. A great Catholic wrote, “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay: small acts of kindness and love.” That guy was J.R.R. Tolkien.

By the way, my peeps happen to be Catholic, but there are Christians and other faithful people all over this country, and the world, who are doing the same thing today, and every day. Thus the smiling faces!