Sunday, October 29, 2017

what a man!

Silas Mayfield

when I was a year old, a state away from me,
a second child was born in Durham, NC,
to loving parents, George and Lottie,
four more children joined the fold,
and I can imagine the joy, and challenges,
of so many children blossoming into themselves
while contending with each other
and how to divide up the light of their parents,

one day Paul just leaves,
while his first-born son, Paul,
is off serving the country,
and Silas becomes the patriarch,
the one to help Lottie hold the family together,
all without a dad at home to help him know what to do,
who to be, how to support, how to assert,

many of us who have spent many years without a father close,
feel a bitterness at our fate, not Silas,
he endured, with grace, and forgave his father for his absence,

Silas used his own life to minister to youth who needed mentoring,
being as father to them,
as well as being a good father to his own son, Silas,
and finding joy in being grandfather to Armanie, and another Silas,

an entrepreneur at heart, Silas has had a will not to be denied,

as a young person he found a way to be paid 
for mowing lawns, raking leaves, shoveling snow:
almost any job one can imagine,
his mom needed his dollars to help out,
and he needed his dollars to help himself out,
even school activities needed money,
and he found a way to earn it,

school called to him, a way to a brighter future,
always a good student,
always with good grades,
even running track at Hillside High School,
in 1968 running the mile in 4.17.3,
this October he expects to be inducted
into the high school hall of fame for his speed,

college called him,
though he knew his mom couldn’t pay for NCCU,
so he found whatever pick up jobs he could to pay the bills,
finally his dream of a law degree had to change,
he took a job at Duke
but felt a pull away from the desk and into photography,
being so good at it he created his own business, SLM Photography,
his photography could capture person and event with power,
and he and his clients prospered,

as the two of them did when he and Dee Dudley found each other,
and married March 1, 1997,
each devoted to the other,
helping each other complete the self that calls to them,

a man of deep faith, Silas perseveres with unshakable courage,
as he has done for nine years fighting the cancer
that wants to take him away,

as the battle has recently intensified,
his oncologist has worried, worried more than Silas,
who has been comforted by God 
not yet telling him it’s his time,

a joyful spirit suffuses Silas,
he endures with a stubborn will
to make the most of whatever is available,

I have seen him through the eyes and loving heart of his wife Dee,
a partnership joined together by God,
may the sacred moments continue with the grace each lives.

by Henry H. Walker

June 19, ‘17

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