I start everything heavy with a deep sigh. It’s more of a “I don’t want to do this right now, but i need to do this right now” kind of sigh. I didn’t want this day to pass without me giving at least a little focus to Malcolm, and since I’m done eating my burrito, and Criminal Minds in a rerun, why not do it now?
I kid, I kid. Malcolm isn’t a second thought to me. It’s been on my to do list since last year on this date. And most recently when I asked my wife of 2,000 years to paint something commemorating his life. Outside of where he stood politically and religiously, some of which I agree wholeheartedly, some of which I do not, I pay homage because he’s part of the reason many causes have been fought by me. He’s the reason I give speeches from time to time, and he’s a major part of the reason I find value in education.
So to give a little focus to Malcolm, I want to talk about Betty. 32 years is a long time to live without the one you’ve loved most. I cannot imagine what that must feel like. I’ve gone weeks, perhaps even several months, but 32 years would never find me; a broke heart would claim me soon after.
“Malcolm,” they heard her screaming from beneath the flames. Her grandson, they assumed. Why not him? after all his name’s Malcolm, too, and he’s the reason for the oranges, blues and pinks covering his grandmother’s body. “Malcolm!” Not me, though. I’ve never thought that that. I imagined she found her way through the thickets or warmth and planted her eyes on the man who left her in the Manhattan Cold 32 years prior. “Malcolm,” she screamed. Quietly, and this part I’m making up, she said “I’ve missed you.”
I could not let this day pass without telling that story.