Greatness is finding your natural talent, fueling it with passion, planting it in well nourished soil and toiling in the garden until it breaks through the earth and reach for the stars!
— Janet Autherine
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.
— Erma Bombeck
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
— Booker T. Washington
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
— Mark Twain


The power of words - word can bring us to our knees or inspire us to reach for the stars.  I have always been inspired by poetry; as a child I had to memorize them both in school and in church.  I still remember all the words to Jeannie Kirby’s, “I Wonder Why the Grass is Green,” which I memorized in my pre-teen years.  My current source of inspiration is “Phenomenal Woman,” by Maya Angelou.  I encourage everyone to connect with your thoughts and emotions by writing. I wrote this poem a few years ago while thinking of ways that I could live my life in a meaningful way. Sometimes, thinking about the end is a good way to make sure that you are always growing and all your days are meaningful.


by Janet Autherine

I believe in heaven but

If this life ends and there is no mansion in the sky and I just return to the dirt from whence I came, 

I want ashes to ashes, dust to dust to be a song of joy and revival.

In this life

My heart gave more love than it could contain

My soul was a conduit for spiritual and physical love and harmony

My mind expanded beyond the text books to the endless possibilities of the universe

My hands reached out indiscriminately to help family, friends and strangers

My body was a vessel to be treasured but not an obsession

My feet were never too tired to dance or run the last mile.

You see, I have always been in my heaven but now I am one with the earth again.

Grass happily grows on me without the need for fertilizers

Roses and hibiscus plants flourish and bloom beautiful flowers in my soil

Organic vegetables thrive as nature intended and nourish the world

Happy couples sit on a bench over me and feel the love that I carried inside of me

The elderly are comforted even knowing that they may be joining me soon

My loved ones rub me between the palm of their hands and find peace.

A well-lived life on earth is the beginning of my heaven