Monday, May 31, 2010

“As He was with Clair Huxtable, so He shall be with me.” Caarne 1.1

“As He was with Clair Huxtable, so He shall be with me.” Caarne 1.1

I know, many suppose it to be sacrilegious when the likeness of scripture is imitated, but as my book explains, I am a firm believer we all tell the Gospel story everyday in our own way. Jesus is still working in and through us, as in biblical antiquity. I was reflecting this morning on the Memorial Day Holiday. It’s a day of remembering those who have gone on before us. Relatives, friends and associates alike capture our thoughts, and to honor them, we visit the special places that help us recall their existence in our lives. We make calls to loved ones that might want to speak of them too. It’s a special day. For some, today is filled with heavy emotion of bereavement and sorrow. Others have just decided to sit on their couch, look at pictures and laugh, thinking fondly of the good times. And yes, I plan to do a little of both today. However, I decided to start my day in remembrance of the lady that made me want to be, well, a lady. Claire Huxtable…mother on The Cosby Show!

Its funny how looking back, I deeply identified with each Huxtable woman. Rudy and I were the same age, so I understood her on a peer level. Her relationship with Kenny, connection with her dad and ability to get in where she fit in indeed felt close to home for me. Vanessa, on the other hand, had a mind of her own. She had more boyfriends than any other Huxtable daughter. She had an eclectic style, always full of color. God knows I had my boy crazy phase, and those who know me well have witnessed my unprecedented determination to have every color God created in my wardrobe. And who can forget Denise, the first girl we really saw have “the black college experience” on national TV. She may have been a little off centered from her parents, but as I think over both my black college experiences, tears come to my eyes, for I know, just her going to Hillman made a difference in my education. Finally, who didn’t love Sandra? A bit of a flower child, but wow did she make her parents proud. When your parents mean as much to you as mine do to me, you can attest, being Sandra is awesome. Who doesn’t want their oldest daughter to graduate from Princeton, marry a doctor, and have a beautiful set of twins? Oh of course she and Elvin had their struggles, but what a huge success they made of each circumstance. Now, although each one of these ladies was exceptional in their own way, Claire exceeded them all.

I fell in love with Claire Huxtable from the beginning. Here this woman was, a top lawyer with her firm, raising four daughters and a son, and married to one of the most brilliant and interesting (to say the least) obstetricians a black woman has ever known. Who doesn’t want to be Claire? Her hair is fabulous, her figure perfect after popping out four babies. She had such a knack for dealing with her family in the most diplomatic ways. Maybe it was because of her analytical abilities developed as a law student. Maybe it came as a result of her reasoning, while young and in love with Hecliff. Or maybe she was born with it. I presume it was all of the fore mentioned. All I know is, when she came home from work, put that briefcase down on that desk, took her shoes off and began the second part of her day, she was on, even at 6pm in the evening! That’s when I realized, as God was with Claire Huxtable, so He will be with me.

I often wondered what she did at that desk. How she handled her work there. How she prayed for her children there. How she daydreamed about her incredible husband there. With life’s woes and unknowns, I believe at the end of the day, she heard the voice of God saying, “Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. As God was with Moses, so He encouraged Joshua He would be with him also. As God had been with her growing up, through college, and dealing with an extraordinarily remarkable husband, who lost a brother at a young age, God would continue to be with her. God would be with her children, so she slept well at night. God would be with her work, so she exuded confidence in the court room. God would be with her always, as He promised to be.

So, as I sit, looking at my own writing desk, I know Claire Huxtable was a fictional character. I know Felicia Rashad left the studio, going home to a real family with all too real problems and triumphs. But I also know that her spirit lives on in many women and men today. We are better because we know her. As God was with Claire, so He shall be with me. I take courage in knowing God has shown me a better way to live. My prayer for you is that you think outside of the box this Memorial Day. Don’t just spend your day thinking of loved ones gone on. Set your mind on memories that help you go on. And do just that… wipe your tears… and go on!

Caarne White, M.Div.
Author of The Gospel According to My Hair:Spiritual Growth on the Waves of New Growth
In loving memory of my aunt Adrienne Hogan… thank you for your life!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful analogy! You know we all loved and love the Cosby Show so we can easily relate. Thanks for being so open and honest in your writing.