It’s A Process

•October 4, 2009 • 2 Comments

Camille and uncle DavidI don ‘t know if I will ever get over the loss of my uncle. His personality was bigger than life…His style transcended all generations…His smile was infectious- at times the only required validation. I can’t speak on his relationship with others, but to me he was the father I should have had. We had this unspoken connection. david3I’d walk in a room, smile, kiss and hug him, maybe say a word or two and just sit there in his presence…knowing everything was alright. I called on him many times and he was always there for me. So, when he was diagnosed with cancer, it was natural for me to be there for him. He called me “minnie me” because he said I reminded him of himself. That, and being told I look my mother are the highest compliments that could ever be paid to me. He taught me about swag long before Souljah Boy jumped out of bed and turned his on. He taught me how to keep my cool, to have a giving heart and to take no shit. My uncle was real. I remember introducing him to a young man I was seeing and him pulling me aside after observing for a few minutes and saying, “That nigga aint about shit” Guess what? He was right. A few years later I introduced him to another. He told me, “He’s alright, but alright is not good enough for you.” Right again. I get it now Unc. You wanted me to know my worth. I now know my worth, and I will not settle for someone who is unworthy. When I was accepted at Georgetown, I sent him a text and followed up with a phone call. He was in the middle of chemo during that time…in pain and not coping with his inability to get up and go like he used to. I told him I wanted to move to DC, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to leave him knowing he was sick. He looked me in the eyes, grabbed my hand and told me, “Baby girl, I am going to be alright. You go and do what you have to do. Don’t worry about me.” Of course I did. He talked of coming here to see me, visit the White House, maybe catch a concert or show. I looked forward to it, and his optimism gave me hope. Camille and uncle David2 He would leave messages on my cell letting me know he was alright and asking me to stop worrying. He knew me well. I never stopped worrying. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, hear his voice or draw from his strength. I have never in my life experienced pain like this, and I am sure I will feel it again. During his battle with cancer, we shared laughter, tears, anger and frustration. He found acceptance, and eventually, he found peace. People keep telling me that grief is a process…Denial (Superman is not supposed to die), Anger (Cancer does not run in my family, in fact, it is documented in my uncle’s medical records that this cancer came as a result of the Vietnam War), Bargaining (Lord, just let him live long enough for me to see him…he did), Depression (no explanation needed) & Acceptance (not there yet). I bounce around them all. Hopefully, I will eventually make my way toward acceptance. Until then…the process continues. david2
uncle david

GO COWBOYS!
David Henry Campbell
August 12th, 1947-September 1, 2009
Vietnam Vet (2 tours)
Awarded 2 Purple Hearts
Father of 8 beautiful children
5 grandchildren
Loved by many

That promise I made…I will keep. You know I won’t let you down. I saw it in your eyes. I love you.
-Minnie Me

The Power of Discovering Your Passion

•February 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

My love affair with writing was created to give me a voice that had been silenced by my crippling fear of the inner city’s unwritten code of silence. As an African American teenager, I witnessed hate from a new perspective. We were no longer afraid of outsiders, as our ancestors were, we were afraid of one another, and the only way to survive was to keep quiet. I even prayed in silence. I walked through life with my head hung low, terrified of being forced to stare down the barrel of fear. The paralysis caused by my fear nearly disabled me, which temporarily enabled freedom and progress to pass me by. If the neighborhood I lived in were a film, its soundtrack would be the sounds of bullets and screams. It fueled my desire to escape. I escaped to a world more spectacular than any film or book. I created a new reality. My reality was peaceful. The streets were clean, and prostitution, guns and violence were non existent. I crafted new lyrics to new melodies. I wrote poetry and submitted them to online contests. I even won some, but money was not the grand prize. My prize was discovering my passion. I had a hunger for success and decided that I was not going to be a product of my environment. I redesigned my future. I was not them. My family was not them. The more I believed it, the more I wrote. The more I wrote, the more I realized the power of discovering my passion. Because of my surroundings, society expected me to be a menace. Everyday, I prove society wrong.