Monday, November 19, 2012

Music Lyrics Monday: Don't Cry for Me.

Don't Cry for Me

Here we are again
That old familiar place
where the winds will blow
No one ever knows the time nor place 

Don't cry For me

Don't shed a tear
The time I shared with you will always be
And when I'm gone, please carry on
Don't Cry for me

No one is the blame,

my death was meant to be
Don't carry guilt nor shame
The reason why I came soon you'll see

Don't cry For me
Don't shed a tear
The time I shared with you will always be
And when I'm gone, please carry on
Don't cry for me

Don't cry when life is not the joy it should be

With life comes pain
Soon time will end this course appointed
and you will be rewarded
and all the world will see

Don't cry For Me

Don't shed a tear
The time I shared with you will always be
And when I'm gone
Life still carries on

Don't cry for me

We'll always be
don't cry for me

~ As sung by CeCe Winans

Auntie and the six pack!


I woke up this morning feeling a little bit lighter. Encouraged by my sister's memory and all of the love that so many people have been showing. Encouraged by the energy . . . the all of it.

This song was playing on my mental iPod as I fell asleep. I pulled it up on my real, true iTunes and listened to CeCe singing softly in my ear. I smiled and wept simultaneously. I liken it to a "sun shower" -- my favorite kind of rain.

Yesterday was tough and beautiful at the same time. Some of Deanna's closest friends streamed in and the sight of them without her was a lot to bear. But again, it was like a sun shower. Fleeting, warm and still filled with light.


Light, like her. Light, like air. Light, like grace. Light, like peace.

Yeah. So it's crazy. The more I think about it the more I realize that this is how I feel overall. Unusually peaceful. I am constantly amazed by the number of provisions that were made for us. Like being able to spend every day with Deanna with our kids for nearly eight months before she passed. Like Harry being home that night (when he normally isn't) so that he could go to get the kids from school. Like somehow having the forethought to tell my mother not to go into Deanna's home when she arrived on Thursday because nothing good could come from her finding her own child lifeless. Like my brother and sister-in-law being near enough to get to Mommy first and kind officers who showed empathy for our family.

See? There were provisions. Provisions, y'all!

Like me not needing Deanna to get the kids on Monday, which allowed her to be with Will's kids instead. She straightened hair and made them laugh and did the things that she always did. And then she was with Isaiah and Zachary on Tuesday and Wednesday. Which was perfect.

Mommy and her girls!

Jo with the fro!

Our whole family was together at homecoming this year. And, like I said before, it was one of the best homecomings ever. She agreed that it was and that weekend made her happy. This, too, was a provision. And truthfully, the list goes on and on. So many provisions. And even clarity that they are just that. Which, if you ask me, is yet another one of God's merciful provisions.

Hey! That's something to shout about!

I'm rambling. Ha ha. Sorry. I hope it's okay.

So what else?  Oh. Some pictures. Yes! Pictures. Because I am feeling like showing you these pictures of us healing together will do your hearts good. Like it will somehow, some way do for all of you what it has been doing for all of us.

Two of my linesisters were two of Deanna's best friends. Ursula and Sara both came to be with our family and I know it meant a ton to my mom. It meant a lot to me, too.

Gamma Tau Spring '92 girls!

You know what? I was just thinking. The scarves were another provision. A tangible thing to wrap around us and feel her. It's unbelievable how many of the special people in Deanna's life have at least one of these scarves. Lucky, lucky us.

My sissy's linesister
Nikki and Bert
My other big sis, Frannie!

Auntie's two eldest nephews
Steve F. and Ramon K., fellow Tuskegee alums
Sweet boy.

And then. There were the kids. Once again, the kids came through. Last night, it was my little godson, Jackson who saved the day. He made Poopdeck smile brighter than anyone else. That little pumpkin jumped straight into his arms and didn't let go. Yet another provision. :)

Baby J. and Poopdeck.

We had a candlelight remembrance in Deanna's memory last night. All of us stood in the cool evening breeze sharing and hugging and remembering. Nobody got too cold since we all had our Auntie Deanna scarves! There were some tears. But mostly there was joy and peace.

Three of my MAIN MEN.
Lisa and Poopdeck.
Will and Chris
Heather and Frannie

 And this. Look at this. (Okay, you'll have to click the image to see it clearly.) JoLai made this when she woke up this morning.

Draper Four Forever

Oh and speaking of JoLai--JoLai just said that mostly she feels okay. Outside of these moments where she wishes she had a punch bowl to drop on the ground like Florida Evans on Good Times.

I thought that might lighten y'all up some. Quietly, I think all of us have had a Florida Evans moment since this has happened.

That JoLai. She's something special. Remember how I told y'all about her being the "friend hoarder?" Well I am learning that she wasn't the only one. Deanna was a friend hoarder, too. And she was even worse than JoLai because she hoarded friends in real life and then had a whole 'nother collection of them stacked up neatly on line.

Shout out to all of Deanna's virtual buddies! Hey y'all!

What else? Oh! We're almost done finalizing things for a memorial service. It's going to be on December 8 so save that date, okay? Time and details to follow. I promise to post them where you can see them. No open caskets or any such thing. Just a celebratory homegoing for our beloved Deanna!

And now for some sisterly silliness. Because Deanna loved silliness. Especially between sisters.

Ha ha ha. This would have been the screensaver on her phone. Or posted on Facebook, I'm sure. Pictures rock.

Which brings me back to this one again.

Super Auntie!

I took this picture myself. Tounces has everyone wear these t-shirts that she dyes every year for photos. I remember insisting that everyone just "love on each other" instead of being all "posey posey."  Isn't this a great pic? My favorite part is Zachary laying on her bosom. Ha! I just love that this photo exists.

Sigh. Yeah.

So . .. . .I guess that's all I got for now. Promise to talk to y'all again soon, okay?

Happy Monday.

And for your listening pleasure--CeCe Winans singing "Don't Cry for Me." Thank you, Ms. CeCe for ministering to me this morning.


  1. I think that death does bring to the survivors a very strong wave of something so pure and so holy that it's impossible not to be carried on it. I have experienced this too.
    But there has to be a lot of love underneath it. Which...I see y'all got that covered.

  2. I only know you online from your blog, but wanted to let you and your family know I am holding you all in my thoughts and am so sorry to hear of your loss.


  3. You shine, every one of you. Your family shines.

  4. Hey Soror,
    I'm one of Deanna's virtual friends. We were to meet in person next July. I feel so cheated. I learned last Thursday night there is no such thing as virtual grief. Continuing to lift you and your family in my prayers. Your blog has been a tremendous blessing to me. I Hope to meet you at the convention.

  5. It might be too early to request something from you but I thought I would go for broke. Your top 10 lists have always been fan favorites. Perhaps you could do a top 10 list in honor of Deanna. I think her fans and yours would love to see such a tribute.

    Continuing to pray for you and your family...

  6. Well done...prayers to the family. DEANNA lived her dash!

  7. I thought about your family often this weekend. Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful testimony!

  8. Wow! Just wow! Love just exudes from this post. Thanks for sharing these wonderful visions of healing, love, and compassion and…. oh did I say love. And those provisions you spoke so eloquently about as well as the ' Auntie and six pack photo' remind me of something a dear friend of mine always says, "When God's word comes to you, it is always packaged with peace, joy, rest and comfort. It just fills the heart with answers that words cannot provide".

    Thanks be to God, not–only for ‘rivers of endless joys above, but for ‘rills of comfort here below.’ “ ~ Adoniram Judson

    May you continue to find comfort in the days to come.

    God Bless,
    Tracy Fluker
    Skegee Alum '93'

  9. GOD truly does work in mysterious ways. Deanna -such a clearly talented , special , special woman ! It is clear how very much she is loved and cherished by all of those who knew her. Also-that collage by JoLai-it is awesome sauce!
    Retro! Height order! " Dungarees!" . It is fabulous :)
    Thank you so very much for sharing.

    Maria, fellow Meharrian

  10. I think the last time I physically saw Deanna was when were all at the high school graduation of JoLai and my brother Daniel. I remember teasing her because she left Scripps and went to Tuskegee after saying all through high school "My ass ain't going to the south!" I was like "Hey! Your ass is in the south!" :) I love that all of you went to Tuskegee like your parents. THAT is a family tradition if I ever saw one. You all are the family that other families strive to be. Be blessed in the love that you will all bring to each other during this time. I will definately be at the service in LA. Deanna was one of those people that no one will ever forget.

  11. Hey Homie.. Still lifting the Draper clan up in very glad the Service will be after I return from the West Coast.. I was troubled at the thought of not being able to attend.. Enjoying your reflections.. Inglewood love... Always..B

  12. Beautifully written. I love the closeness. I love THE LOVE that will carry on forever. Dawn Harrell~

  13. This is beautiful! I knew Deanna personally and I miss her so. She spoke of you guys so lovingly that I feel like I know each and everyone of you. She spoke of you all so much that I can look at your pictures and not only can I name the people in the picture, I can share a funny story about you as if I were there when it happened! LOL. Thank you for sharing!


  14. Kimberly,

    It's been a long time since I have seen you or Deanna. Somehow we were always in the same place and would miss each other, however, Deanna and I kept in touch on FB. I will never forget the first time I met her on TU's campus; I still remember riding around in her Bug. I first learned of her passing on Friday night at a party and I was saddened by the news but knew she was in a better space and toasted her life. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers and if there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  15. Oh, and I am absolutely loving JoLai in the sock monkey hat. CUTE!

  16. So much beauty just unrolling here, on and on, forever and ever.

  17. This is absolutely touching and beautiful. I will continue to pray for your family and friends. Sincerely, A fellow Tuskegee University Alumna, Brenda A. Green

  18. Hey Kim, Roxy have such a gift of writing. The way you put your feelings and those of others is so comforting and entertaining at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing your memories with the world. As I said in my comment on your other post, I hadn't seen any of you in such a long time. Matter of fact, I think the last time I saw JoLai was at Stacy's babyshower, if memory serves me right LOL. Its so beautiful to see the love and closeness that you and your family have. I'm so glad that our other classmates shared the link to your blog. You have gained a new fan and I look forward to reading your upcoming posts/blogs. :) Hugs to you....on and one more thing, your smile makes me smile every time I look at your pics. You have a gift, seriously.

  19. Hi, Soror, I'm one of Deanna's "virtual friends". Though we never met, I appreciate Deanna for her warmth, her honesty, her tact, and also for her humor. We're still laughing and sharing those good times. Thank you for sharing Deanna's family with us during this difficult season. Praying for your comfort and strength in the Lord. Just remember that no one is lost when you know where they are. (((((HUG)))))

  20. The love you share with your family and friends is almost tangible. Please know that these posts - written under circumstances I cannot begin to fathom - have truly blessed me. Thank you for ministering to me in your time of sorrow. I will continue to pray God's comfort for you all.

  21. Simply Beautiful! Dr. Manning, your words speak volumes and the love between you & your family is truly touching...The Draper family remains in my prayers/thoughts.


  22. I have been away from my computer and missed this news until now. While I have never met you, I have read your blog for several years. I've only commented a few times but I want to be sure to comment this time.

    I am so very sorry to hear that your sister has passed. I am praying for you, for comfort in the Lord and for His peace and presence right now most of all. Your sister is not gone forever....she is just around the corner. And one day, you too will turn that corner and there she will be with open arms.

    Love in Christ,

  23. Thank you so much for posting and sharing. I am one fo Deanna's "virtual Soror buddies" and I have gone through an array of emotions since learning of her passing including a FLORIDA EVANS moment! :) She always made every comment/thread/postcomical. She is truly missed. I am in NC and would love to attend her Memorial on Dec. 8th. Please keep us posted. Much love! Soror Von Weston

  24. That picture of Deanna and her precious nieces and nephews is the definition of L-O-V-E. Pure and simple.
    Sending lots of love to Team Manning and Team Draper!

    Team Rasberry :)

  25. Kimberly.....I laughed with my friend as she did the girls' hair - 2 days later, my heart was broken....... Thank you so much for doing's keeping me's really helping me......
    To all the "cyberSorors", SM-LAC - all of Deanna's friends and family - let's keep her memory alive by continuing to share Positive Love Energy......

  26. Your posts since your "Sunrise, Sunset" post have been so beautiful, so joyous, so real, so loving and a thousand other words I can't come up with right now! I believe your writing is anointed.

    The honesty with which you write is so refreshing--I loved the coffee pot incident which says that life goes on no matter how badly we are feeling.

    Family love shown in your writings and pictures is such a testimony to our God. What a joyous, wonderful family with which you were blessed! I've read through your recent posts several times and had the feeling that if I showed up at your door, I would have been warmly welcomed, although a stranger..well, I won't show up at your door, but thank you, thank you for sharing your family, your grief, your joy, your laughter, and your authentic side to us.

    The picture of Deanna with the nieces and nephews speaks more loudly than thousands of words. I hope each child will get their own framed copy of that picture for their rooms! What love they were blessed with from their Auntie!

    May your lives be forever changed for His glory through this most difficult valley you have been asked to walk through.

    Blessings, dear Dr. Manning

  27. Hugs Soror you and your family stay in my prayers a virtual soror that misses Deanna.

  28. Beautiful post. It's pretty obvious your sister was loved by many. Prayers for you and your family.

    Birmingham, AL


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