With the new year on its way in a few days, I thought it only fitting to honor those in my family that have fought and won their personal battles in life. Those who have joined the Ancestors and have become beautiful guardian angels.
Everyone that I will honor in my post tonight had three things in common: they lived their lives on their own terms and according to their own rules; they lived out loud and with vibrant colors; and they FOUGHT and WON their battles with defiance, dignity, and a warrior spirit. Each of my loved ones impacted my life in such an extraordinary way. Each of them lived life on their own terms, and they transitioned on their own terms too. If only most of us could be that bold.
December 7, 2016 - my maternal aunt, Sara Lee Alexander. She was the oldest of my mom's siblings and she helped to care for all of her brothers and sisters, and many of the nieces and nephews (including me) as we were growing up. She was pure joy to be around, with a very vibrant and beautiful personality and smile. She always, and I mean always made me feel beautiful. She loved scary movies, cooking, lauging, and family gatherings. If I could describe her in one word - it is that she was a LIONESS. I learned from Aunt Sara that to be the oldest sibling is a great honor and comes with great responsibility. I am also the oldest of my siblings. I learned that caring for others and protecting those you love is a revolutionary act.
September 1, 2016 - my Maternal Great Aunt, Ella Mae Buckingham. She was one of my grandfather's youngest sisters. Aunt Ella Mae was the shyest, and most soft spoken person I have ever known in my life. She was the sweetest person in the world, and I always loved when I had the opportunity to see her and talk with her. Even though she was soft spoken and very gentle, she was very powerful. She was a pillar in our family and in the community and I could immediately feel the calm wind in her energy the moment I saw her. If I could describe her in one word - it is ELOQUENT. I learned from her that it is okay for me to be myself and make my mark in this world in my own unique, gentle and powerful way - just like she did.
February 29, 2016 - my Maternal Great Aunt Alice Alexander. I used to love visiting Aunt Alice and my Great Uncle Dewey in Detroit when I was little. As I got older, I used to call them and talk and laugh and gossip (Lol) about everything. I always, always, always felt welcomed and loved in her space whenever I was with her. She was a true angel and I have always admired her for her beauty, her grace, and the way she carried herself with true regal authority. Another pillar in our family and community, I learned from Aunt Alice the true meaning of loyalty, bravery, foreberance, and strength. If I could describe her in one word - it is MIGHTY.
January 21, 2016 - my maternal uncle, Albert Alexander. My uncle Al was the youngest of my mom's brothers. He had a succesful career, he loved going to the movies and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He loved to travel and he also loved to mentor young professionals. Two years ago when he was home visiting, I had a long talk with him while at my grandmother's house. God must have known that I needed the advice and encouragment because my Uncle Al spent about 3 hours talking to me about my career path. He asked me about my dreams and goals and I had the chance to speak life into my dreams as he listened with no judgment whatsoever. He gave me the most powerful advice --- he told me that everything I was looking to do in my career was coming and going to happen and the only question he had for me was whether I was ready. "Are you ready?" He asked. He told me to focus on being ready to fly the moment the opportunities presented themselves. At that time, honestly I was not ready. But I started to change that. Within months of that conversation, his predictions came true. I am now in a place I never thought I would be with opportunities I never knew existed. Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about - in February 2017, I will be at the United Nations in New York. I will also be apart of important meetings as a National Council Member for the United Nations Association of the United States. I learned from him that dreams come true, and it is of most importance to be ready for what you ask God for. If I could describe Uncle Al in one word - it is that he was a VISIONARY.
January 13, 2016 - my Maternal Uncle Hal Alexander. What can I say about Uncle Hal? He was my mom's oldest brother. He was cool. He was smooth. He had that swagger that we all know and love. He truly lived his life on his own terms. He set his own rules and he did not apologize for being himself. He did not ask for permission to be himself. He lived his life one day at a time and he truly enjoyed life and brought joy to the people around him. He was funny as hell. In fact, the last time I saw him he had me and my mom and sister laughing to the point of tears. He had been ill for a while, and for most people that would be discouraging. But Uncle Hal found joy in his life, even in the mist of struggle. I will always keep close to my heart the last time I saw him -- it was the 4th Angelversary for my brother Vincent. That was a sad day -- and we drove from Arlington Cemetery to visit Uncle Hal in Maryland that day. I am so thankful to God that we did. Not only did he make us all laugh and feel joy, it was the last time I would see his beautiful smile. Our last words to each other that day were "I love you." I learned from Uncle Hal to always "Find the Good" in my life. If I could describe Uncle Hal in one word - it is that he was RESILIENT.
They are all with the Ancestors now and I pray that they all Rest In Power.