I Haven't Forgotten...

Today is the day...

This day 4 years ago my heart stopped for a good 30 seconds. I can say it does get easier as the days go by. There are moments I sit and think about how funny it was to have a random person introduce himself, in front of my entire Spanish class, the first day of 9th grade, as my brother. It was amazing to see how that created an avenue for a friendship to evolve into a kinship.

As time progressed, like most friendships that derive in high school, we grew a part a little. We would go HARD on each other for not returning phone calls, flaking on events and dates we set. At one point we had gotten it together. He visited and so did I. It fell off again but he forever remained in my heart. In fact this year, for some reason, I had a rough time after my birthday dinner. That was one thing he'd never miss. I came home and cried so hard, really missing him.

What hurt the most was not his death alone but my attitude towards him right before his death. My feelings we hurt so I was upset with him. In my heart I had disowned him. YIKES. What a horrible feeling that is to have? Carrying an offense and he never really knew about it. How important was that offense? How much time did I waste being mad at him?

After the funeral I apologized to him so much. I felt horrible but I remembered there was one thing we said we'd always do, no matter how much we were mad at each other; remain brudder and sis. So I rest in knowing that when God called him, he was still my brudder and I was still his sis.

The piece below was written just one year after Jamaal's death. At the end I gave a few people flowers, I'd like to do the same this time...

Presentation of Flowers:

Sissy- All the flowers in the world could not say thank you enough

Ariel- If laughter was a flower...

PC- you rock

Mom- you are loved

Mikey- you held my hand that night and allowed me to cry. Thanks babe

One Year Later

Preface:

Sometimes I wish I had an alias or ghostwriter of some sort so the whole world wouldn’t know all of my business! But then what’s the point of going through stuff if you can’t share your testimony in hopes that others won’t have to go through the same stuff, or will have a better understanding of the things they go through?

The Note:

One year ago today J called with some of the most disturbing news. My friend, whom I endearingly called “brudder”, had died! In shock, I sat on the phone waiting to roll over and discover that it had only been of the many horrible dreams I had been having regarding death (my biggest FEAR). Sadly, it wasn't a dream but very real. I realized that this thing called DEATH wasn’t something that I could escape from, although on previous occasions I failed in attempts to do so.

This one was something, like the others, I had to deal with. After that moment of silence on the phone and after I had said out loud , “I definitely am not in the mood to deal with this right now”, I knew that I had to approach this one totally differently. This time I knew I was going to have to press not to be angry at God, I was going to have to press not to dwell on all the whys and why nots. This time I was going to have to accept that no matter how I felt, God was sovereign and still is!

With all the other DEATHS there was one thing that I didn’t find myself dealing with…replacement. After I had gotten over the initial loss I wasn’t constantly thinking, “who is gonna take “their place”. But with Jamaal I did! Nope! I didn’t go looking for folks nor did I go through a list of those in already placed in life to replace him and his friendship! In my mind that was impossible! No one could make me laugh the way he did. No one will drive all the way out to the valley to come see lil’ ol me like he did. No one will threaten the dudes I dated like he did. So why even try?

I remember a good friend of mine saying that after she lost someone VERY dear to her that God made ways to fill that void eventually. At first I thought, “what the heck! NO ONE can replace my brudder”. But she wasn’t talking about someone to take his place where I would forget about him. It’s hard to explain, but I understand EXACTLY what she meant! When I wasn’t looking, God moved me into a position where my environment and those in it started to change. Before you knew it I became able to lean on folks just like I did with Jamaal. God had position dependable people in my life. Even when I was reluctant to let others into my personal space of transparency and vulnerability as I did with Jamaal, I found myself slowly allowing others to see the real me.

So no, no one can ever replace him, but looking back after a long year of dealing with it, I can honestly say that the void is being filled and I am so happy that I allowed God to do it through those special people. Was it easy? NO! Still isn’t, ‘cause sometimes I wanna be all to myself, thinking that no one but J and Jamaal understands me. But it’s gotten easier.

Lessons:

When God moves things around in your life, take advantage of it. Even in pain. “All things work together for the good of those that love Christ” Romans 8:28.

Don’t wait till a person’s funeral to give them flowers!

Presentation of Flowers:

-Jayson, Man! We aint one for the mushies but thanks! I love you!

-Devon, Thank you! I love you brudder!

-RJ,My inspiration, part of what keeps me together!

-Day and Shay, You held my hand and covered up my back as I sucked carpet! I love you both

-Nae,watching you helps me!

-A.P.(sigh)!

-Louise, my boo! I give you a purple dendrobium orchid

-Terri, my REAL friend!

-L boogie, where would I be without the peace you bring to the house

-Londy…more than you will ever know!