Once again I’m revisiting death and dying and the life lessons revealed to me as I witness another person I love laid out at Rest Haven Cemetery. The death of Cynthia Lathan is a reality check that my time here is limited. I’ve been living like a fish in a cave since my momma died, and I inherited the house that she built. A house filled with memories of sewing, quilting, baking, cooking, and gardening. My momma’s house has experienced love, joy, laughter, as well as tears and moaning from three generations of women born to The Blues. But time doesn’t wait!
During the isolation from Covid over the past year, I’ve dealt with the brokenness of my wounded self. I believed that I had time to repair my relationship with Cynthia but I didn’t. It took her crossing over to motivate me to do what she wanted me to do when she was alive, be secretary for the Darden High School Class of 1968. God has a way of putting His plan in action regardless of our waywardness.
The news of Cynthia’s passing is still a shock to me. I went to visit her burial place at Rest Haven this afternoon. Standing looking at her fresh grave covered with blue and white flowers, it feels raw and numbing. My pretty cousin is buried in the ground! Her beautiful smile that could light up a room is gone from this Earth. But Cynthia’s death is NOT the end of her story. She gave so much to so many, that now it’s our turn to share with the world what a remarkable person Cynthia was and will forever be.
Prior to Cynthia’s passing I was inspired to repurpose a gray and yellow teaching quilt that I was making into an improv HST quilt inspired by the colors of a sunrise at Pea Island on the Outer Banks. My great grandfather’s father was a Keeper at the Life Saving Station on the Pea. Last weekend when I was unable to sleep due to my grief over Cynthia, I completed 30 HSTs for a New Day Quilt. I now realize the significance of the colors in helping me to heal. Grief is seen in the colors of a new beginning. Death is not the end but a new beginning for all us true believers that Jesus is Christ and that preserving steadfast faith in Him grants us everlasting life. Gray and yellow represents the unshakable hope that each new day is a blessing.
Thank you Cynthia Albrenda Lathan for all the times we shared. Your friendship helped me endure some of the most painful moments of my life. I regret that it took your passing for me to fall in love with our Darden High School Class of 1968. But, I’m committed to doing my part to maintain what you created to the glory of Almighty God, in the Name of Jesus with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I promise Cuz!