L. Vee McGee Berry, Class of 1970
My two favorite stories are Cinderella and Snow White.
In each, there was an item of importance: a glass slipper and a mirror. Not every story needs glass slippers, but in every story there is a mirror in which lies an image. As one of the Cinderella(s), my coach was a Greyhound bus.
Dr. Alice Geoffray, my fairy godmother, you were my fair(y) mother from God. Thank you, your staff, and the wonderful Mr. James Coleman, Sr. and the delightful Mr. McLamb. I’ve forgotten a lot of names, but I remember your faces and your kindness. All of your labor was not in vain; it helped me to like the human in the mirror. Ms. Geoffray, you showed me what love looks like.
In a session with my senses, I’ve come to certain conclusions. See – no amount of mascara could shield the determination in the expressive eyes in this coffee-colored face. Hear – no amount of weight on the earlobes could stop knowledge from entering. Smell – no offenses could block the smell of success. Every day I’m just “Waiting to Exhale.” Speak – my lips are cautioned not to be a liability; shade is worn and not thrown, make sure you constantly monitor the mouth’s movement. Touch – every time you feel something, does not mean you have to touch something.
A head shot could become a shot in the head if not daily edited. Who said, “It’s just all in your head”?
In stepping back from the mirror to get a full view, I see a full figure. It’s not the size of the body but the size of the heart. Small and large always competing, the body is just another arena where the match takes place. But thanks to Ms. Sharon Rodi, I know how to possess it and how to dress it.
Did you know the building that brought so much joy used to be a bar and speak-easies? They cleaned it up, before cleaning us up (smile). That building of pleasure became a building of promise; setting the “bar” high enough to “speak-easily” about our qualifications. This reminded me of another mother, my own. Missionary Hattie Hutchinson McGee, collected the trash from the bars to be able to get the beer cans and then took the proceeds and built a church. After the dedication of Lily of the Valley, she left her earthly body. Before she died her request was to ask her young niece, one who was fully favored in Christ, anointed and well-traveled, to Pastor the church. At that time, the church had no money and no members. It would have been just an empty building without you, Overseer and Pastor Carolyn D. Roberson. The young woman of excellence continues to minister to the needs of God people; after 31+ years, and the building is filled to its capacity.
Why are these caregivers so successful? First, you have to care; then you have to care enough to give to more than you and yours.
To the children of Ms. Geoffray:
I’m honored to know that your mother felt like she was our fairy godmother and we, her Cinderella(s) and extended family. Thank God for a family that wants to keep the love connection.
To My 431exchange Sisters:
God Bless and Keep You
I never thought that I would see a day that you had to hold up a sign to say that you mattered (BLACK LIVES MATTER), when it should be understood that ALL LIVES MATTER.
Elder L.Vee McGee Berry
July 23, 2018