Mona Lake Jones, who grew up in Spokane and is now a Seattle-based writer and lecturer, was back home recently to give Eastern Washington University’s commencement speech. If you haven’t checked out her wonderful writing, start with “The Color of Culture.” Here’s an excerpt from her poem: “Being the Mother of a Black Child.”
“They said you were what? That word
is out of style
Next time they call you names
just raise your head and smile
Tell them that you’re proud
of the color of your skin
What counts is not the outside wrapping
but the character within
Being the mother of a Black child
it ain’t no easy thing
You’ve got to call on Jesus and listen
to the angels sing”
Good cause: Five Spokane Catholic churches, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Spokane, are building a home for a low-income family. The churches are sponsoring a fund-raising picnic today at noon at Comstock Park. Lunch tickets are $3 each and $10 for the family.
Good words: In a rush to buy people presents for birthdays and anniversaries, we sometimes forget what a powerful gift words can be, especially when they express how we truly feel about those closest to us. Pam Olson’s parents, Norma and Harold Nieschulz, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Pam wrote them this: “In this world of ours, we so often choose to blame our parents for every problem life hands us. That is why on this Golden Day I choose to remember the gifts (you) have given my brother and me. Gifts of optimism and courage and finding joy in simple things.
“Ours was not a storybook life, but just a life of growing up in an uncluttered world with Mom and Dad, family and friends, cats, dogs, a goldfish or two and occasional chipmunk! It was Sunday rides to the fish hatchery, and holding each other tight during thunderstorms. It was always finding time for us. The truly remarkable thing is how (you) have continued to share your wonderful gifts with my children. How different their lives would be had they not known had love, compassion and support from Grandma and Grandpa.
“So today Mom and Dad, we pay tribute to you and to the legacy you have given us to pass along for generations to come. Because of you the world is just a little bit better and the music a little sweeter. We love you now and into forever.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo
MEMO: Commond Ground is written on alternating weeks by Dan Webster and Rebecca Nappi. Write to them in care of The Spokesman-Review, Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615. Or fax, 459-5098.