Patrick Semansky/AP Photo Courtesy of NPR.
House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings died this morning (10/17/19) at age 68. Much to my surprise he not only showed up shortly after I saw the first news reports of his death, he had a lot to say.
He showed up to me the way he had been seen in countless news clips, in a suit with a tie, his large frame and shambling gait same as usual. Death has not reduced the fire of his convictions in the least.
Cummings told me, “Don’t you worry about me. Worry about yourself. Worry about our children, who is going to eat today and who is not.”
When I asked him about the cause of his death he said, “My heart gave out on me.”
Like many newly dead his thoughts had turned to his family but he was the least concerned about them of anyone in spirit I have talked to to date. Don’t mistake that for lack of care. In his words regarding his family, “Will be okay. They know where I am going and I will be here waiting when they come.”
Always a passionate orator Cummings final comments were for those he spent a lifetime trying to help via public service. He said to all his fellow citizens, “Fight. Don’t be quiet! Don’t sit back and wait for others to do the job. Fight for your freedom, fight for jobs and education. Fight for equality, dignity and doing the right thing.”
His final comment was, “Leave my bones in the ground and go fight for your future.” With that he simply turned around and walked away.
(c) 2019. Lynne Sutherland Olson. All Rights Reserved.