A few years ago, I was volunteering at 90.1 WABE, in Atlanta, during an NPR spring fundraiser. I glanced up from my seat and spotted Cokie Roberts leaving after an interview. Without hesitation, I quickly placed my phone on unavailable, pulled off my headset and dashed over to say hello.
She was absolutely lovely.
We spoke for a moment about Washington, DC, and the coincidence that we were both members of Blessed Sacrament Church off Chevy Chase Circle. In fact, Father D’Silva, a tender-hearted priest who married Justin and I also married her children.
As she picked up her bags to go, I asked an elderly gentleman who was exiting the building, to take our picture. His hand wiggled when he held my phone WAY out in front of him pointing it more toward the sky than at us, but somehow he managed to get a nice blurry photo.
I was elated.
It’s been almost four months since Cokie Roberts died from breast cancer complications, but the legend of her spirit, her unwavering support of women and her passion for politics still grace the halls of the U.S. Capitol. Equally valued was her voice on being a mother and raising children.
In her book, We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters she says,
Caretaking–that’s the common thread that runs through these stories. No matter what else women are doing, we are also “mothering” –taking care of somebody or something, and, for the most part, doing it joyously. That’s what women have been doing from the beginning and, I believe, will continue to do. I think we’ve been doing it awfully well for a very long time.”
Cokie: a mom and a legend.
I keep her picture on the desktop of my computer to remind me what a true model of poise, integrity, and professionalism looks like.
It was an honor to meet such a stellar woman and as a mom and “writer” I value what she stood for and cherish that brief moment she took to chat with me.
IN THE WORDS OF COKIE ROBERTS:
A lot of women have come to understand that you can’t just show up and say I’m unhappy, you have to then go out and do something.