That Woman called Daisy
If we are very lucky in life, we will meet one person who will change our lives in an amazing way. I was very lucky. I remember the sweltering heat of July 1969 as if it were yesterday. My father had driven the ten miles to Mitchellville to meet the woman called Daisy. We rode for half an hour with the windows rolled down, the hot air whipping our faces, our clothes and hair. Dad was intent on staying within the speed limit, probably daydreaming about a successful cotton crop that year. I was daydreaming about working the balance of the summer with the woman called Daisy.
Daisy opened her door to me and I forgot my mission. Her eyes were as black and bright as ornate stones. Her smile was brilliant. Fifteen minutes was what she allowed me to convince her I should be her summer worker. I failed miserably…in convincing her of my worth, and the simple typing test.
When I arrived dejectedly back to Daddy’s truck, he knew without asking. He placed his newspaper on the dashboard and drove out of Mitchellville, back to our sharecroppers’ home. It had all happened so fast, and I hadn’t gotten what I’d wanted. It would take me some years, and maturing to understand that I’d left that visit with far more than I’d come with …something that hasn’t left me, even 43 years later. Thanks to Daisy I realized somewhere in early adulthood that greatness is inside us all; not merely allocated to those who look or sound a certain way; or those born with the right last name. Meeting her, and knowing her story; I understood that even a sharecropper’s daughter might grow up to do at least one great thing in her lifetime.
Many things I believed and dreamed of in 1969 have fallen by the wayside. Not so, the searing imprint of the woman in Mitchellville called Daisy. That memory lives on…and, grows more brilliant each year.