Cynthia Manker, an entrepreneur and former Associate Editor of Inglewood Today, passed away from a long illness Wednesday morning.
So many memories come to mind about my dear friend. But first and foremost, we were a tag team. For years, we worked together at Inglewood Today, sharing writing and editing duties of the magazine, and later the newspaper. She attended Inglewood City Council meetings which would last until 11pm or longer some nights. She burned the midnight oil during production at the Inglewood Today office. Yet she still found time to volunteer for the NAACP and other organizations, have a social life and take on business clients.
We were both single moms raising daughters, and I often found myself wondering, “How does she do it?”
Two years ago, when Cynthia was still recovering from her stroke in 2011, I met a man whom I thought was the love of my life and to my surprise Cynthia announced she had a new love interest too. It anchored my belief in love. If she could have a boyfriend, despite her health issues, there was hope for every woman over the age of 50. I was impressed and all I could say was, “You go, girl!”
For nearly two hours, we talked and giggled like school girls, sharing stories about our men, exchanging text photos, crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. When my relationship ended, I remember her telling me, “Man’s rejection is God’s protection.” I found a lot of comfort in that.
Words of wisdom was Cynthia’s forte, and it was her deep faith in God that drew so many to her. She knew just what to say at the right moment and shared the love of Christ without being preachy or judgmental. I love that about her.
“My mom is at peace. Everlasting peace with our Heavenly Father. I'm thankful that she is finally at rest after living such a beautiful and extremely difficult life. She's free from pain, which means everything to me. She is the most wonderful mother that I could have ever asked for. I love her and I miss her. I'm relying on the comfort and strength that only God can provide me, and I have so much hope in seeing her again in heaven,” her daughter Kiahna Manker wrote on Facebook.
Kiahna said her mom “embodied” this quote:
"You have blessed me with many gifts, God, and it is my task to realize them. May I never underestimate my potential, may I never lose hope. May I find the strength to strive for better, the courage to be different, the energy to give all to the Lord"
My personal favorite which I shared on my Facebook page was taken from another one of Cynthia’s posts:
“There is an anointing of ease on my life. God is going before me making crooked places straight. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I will not continuously struggle. What used to be difficult will not be difficult anymore. . .”
After leaving Inglewood Today, Cynthia fought on for 4 years, continuing to write, attend church, and connect to others socially and through social media. Details about the memorial service are still pending. For updates and to view her medical journey and photos online visit http://cynthiamanker.com.