Sarah Butler was my bridge to another culture, as I was for her. A simple phone call will demonstrate what I mean. I’d call and someone would answer the phone. I’d ask for Mrs. Butler. The person on the other end would say she wasn’t home.
Then I’d say, “Its Sherie calling from California. Please tell her I called.”
“Oh, it’s you. Mother is in the other room. I’ll get her.”
I sound white and educated on the phone. White folks didn’t often call to be sociable and they could well be the bearers of bad news. It was just better not to talk with them if they could be avoided.
Sarah taught me about her world and she was my friend. She gave me a home away from home and I clearly loved her. I wrote to her and called to speak to her. She didn’t have to share me with her family or the community. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And I think this quote by Maya Angelou explains why Sarah thought of me often. We made one another feel good, connected and strong. Is there anything better?