Sunday, April 6, 2008

40 Years, 12 Years, Friday

These last few days have been a little bit solemn, even though I didn't blog about it until tonight. Yet, I celebrate the spirit and memories that were for the lives that touched my soul.

My father passed away on April 3, 1996, 12 years ago Thursday, after a short battle with cancer. Friday also marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And while I never knew her, I learned from fellow blogger, Greg, that his mother passed away Friday morning. Despite not knowing his mother, Greg has been very kind in keeping in contact and making me laugh as I convalesce from my own problems, and been a good buddy. I tip my hat to Greg mother for raising a such decent fellow. Job well done, ma'am.

To my Pops, Issy ("eye-see"), I have much to be thankful and grateful. The man who aided in giving me life, no matter what his faults were, was still a man I must honor. He was tough at times, we often didn't see eye to eye, nor understood one another, but for every negative, there was enough good. No one ever in my life has made me laugh the way he did. No man in my life has challenged me (both good and bad) in the ways he did. No one else has taught me to fight, stand up, and act upon my convictions, like he did.

As each day another grey hair appears in my thick mane, I stare in the mirror and notice another laugh line, I see his face staring back at me. Even my skin tones is taking on more complexion to his. I've always been the perfect blend between my parents. My fair-skinned ("high yella" and I say that with utmost respect) mother and my dark, père noir, produced a healthy reddish copper-skinned boy with a head full'a hair. My hair has always been long, even from day one! I get that from mom-mom's side.

The older I get, I swear my tone is changing, becoming more like my father! Maybe I'm just crazy. Perhaps, I just miss my pops... Most often, my daily life is business as usual. Then there are days when he is on my mind constantly, like this time of year, when I can almost feel his presence.

In his memory, I give him thanks for his efforts. Issy might not have won't the 'father-of-the-year' award, I might not have had the most positive childhood he could've provided me, but I honestly believed he tried his best....

With Regards to Dr. King, well, that goes without saying; the debt I owe him.

I studied much of the Civil Rights Movement in college based on his lead. I took from his example and wanted to be a Social History professor teaching on the social upheaval in the United States starting with 1919 through turbulent 1960s. All inspired by Dr. King.

My words cannot adequately give thanks to Dr. King for his struggle, patience, determination, and endurance he gave to the Civil Rights Movement, so that one day this same gender loving multi-ethnic black man blogging before you, can dare say, "I feel equal."

Oh yes, the Dream is still alive! Yes, we need never forget Dr. King, nor give up fightin' what he believed in passionately. Racism still raises its head too often and the good struggle is far from over, but one day, someday, everything will come to pass as martin noted in his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. For those dreary days, cling to "And This Too Shall Pass," and keep striving for what is right and just!The dream will become life only if we make it happen...

One of my greatest moments is being able to say I met his widow, the late Coretta Scott King. I met her way back in the day when I was about 12-13. I'm not bragging about meeting her, but it was an honor. She spoke at commencement and my father arranged that I could speak with her afterwards. So through her, I knew, and still know, I touched a piece of history. Every time I make it to Atlanta, I always try to get over to the King Center and see the grave site for Dr. King. I have not been to Atlanta since Mrs. King died, but I'm due for a visit soon. I have family down there, so there's no excuse!

Anyway... enough of my simplistic words. Here's to life and memories of Dr. & Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr, my Pops, "Issy," and Greg from Point & Shoot's mother. Godspeed. Thank you for your patience, your diligence, blood, sweat, tears, and your time on Earth. I know God said to you Well done thy faithful servant when He greeted you. Yes, even you daddy, even you. I will see you again someday.

"I miss you, Pop. Say hi to Aunts Dee-Dee & Ellie, Gram'ma AP, and Pop-Pop Issy. Y'all keep an out on me, cuz I need it more than ever these days..."



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President Barack Obama!