August is a difficult month for some in my family. In as much as it comes in beautifully with the celebration of the birth of my first born (August 1), it also carries the memories of several key members of our family that we have lost over the years.
Now I know that you are supposed to concentrate on the good, and my Granny even goes so far as to say that in death, there are no more birthdays, and this is true. But it is very hard to forget the imprint that has been made on your life by certain people. So this is my memorial.
August 8: The birthday of Mrs. Dorothy Mae Cornay, or Aunt Dot as we all called her. She was only about 4'9, but her presence was massive. Her heart was huge, and her temper was catastrophic if you happened to find yourself on the wrong side of her smile...lol. But she is the reason why I still write to this day. She is also the reason why I sing, why I ever started singing, and why I continued to sing, although for sometime after her death, I couldn't find my voice...it was just gone. She is the only person that ever gave me any professional vocal training. With her years of musical experience with the greats like Rev. James Cleveland, Rev. Mattie Moss Clark, and Rev. James Moore, she groomed us. She taught us with a fire that burned from within, and she was not satisfied unless we mastered every note, every syllable, every measure. Trust me, I've had many a shoe thrown at my head for doing it wrong! LOL. She was my musical inspiration. And she was my Dear Abby when I couldn't talk to Granny or Auntie. She yelled at me, and pinched me, and loved on me like no one else could. And to this day, I miss her something terrible. I still can't think of her without tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat, and pain in my heart. But I know she's an angel now, watching over me, still thumping me in the head when I hit the wrong note. I love you T Dot, and there will NEVER be another to take your place. You continue to inspire me to seek the best, to do the best, and to BE the best. I love you.
August 10: The birthday of Mr. A.B. Searcy III. Uncle A.B. Paralyzed playing football for Cass Tech at the age of 16, he was an anomoly. Although injured from the neck down, he went on to graduate from Cass with honors, and to graduate from Wayne State with honors. Not only did he graduate, but he also pledged Kappa Alpha Psi, from his chair, and yes...they PLEDGED him!! He played basketball, football, he drove, he worked...all from his chair. He lived alone, he cooked, he cleaned, he did laundry, and he matriculated around the city...all from his chair! He was teaching me Japanese and Spanish when I was four. Algebra and Trig. Checkers and Chess. He was outstanding. And he surpassed ALL the odds. It wasn't until he had a bad fall when I was in high school that he even slightly resembled a 'quad'. He never forgot a birthday or Christmas. He paid us for report cards, and fussed if grades were not to his standards.When I had children, he spoiled them even more than he spoiled me. (Much to my dismay! lol) He cherished ALL of his nieces and nephews, and because he never had children of his own, WE were his children, and he doted on us. He loved his mother, his brothers, and he spoiled his sister (my mother) to death. He was an awesome role model, and true MAN, in its pure definition. We lost him the day before Valentines Day, and he was definitely a lover. We loved him, we adored him, and we miss him still. Our hearts were broken at the loss, and the void will never be filled. But the memories will last a lifetime. One of the last things I heard him say was that he had lived a good life, and he had no regrets. He said it with tears running down his face, and I'm so glad that I got to hear that confession. He was priceless in our family, and we will never forget him. Your smile always made me laugh, and your encouragement meant the world to me. Thank you for being the Dad that I didn't have, the Uncle that I needed, and the man that you were. I love you.
August 24: The birthday of Mr. Charles Gorman Searcy. Uncle Charles. We lost you on Valentines Day, and that makes it doubly hard sometimes.You were the quiet one. The strong, silent type. I never knew what you were thinking. As a matter of fact, I spent years thinking you didn't even like me. You were the model husband and father. Working man, honored at your job, loving husband, father of 5. Minister and Son. Brother and Friend. I remember you couldn't see very well, wore glasses, and I used to laugh on Sunday mornings because you would pull your glasses up to read the bullentin, and to me, it was the funniest thing in the world. Your smile was beautiful, your spirit was quiet, and your voice? Well, it was evident that Aunt Dot threw a few shoes at you too! Lol! Before you had your daughters, I was like your daughter. I was at your house with you and your wife so much, I think I had my own room. I still joke to this day that I was your oldest daughter, that you used me for practice. But somehow, I was still a little frightened of you, still nervous that you didn't like me. Not because you were mean to me, you never were. I think it was because I'm SO vocal, and you were SO quiet. And it was hard for me to understand that at my age. But one day, you got a call. And the details of that call greatly disturbed you. Let's just say that after that day, after I saw your reaction to that call, after I saw your face, heard your voice, I KNEW that you not only liked me, but you LOVED me. I was your beloved neice. And NOBODY had the right to hurt me or disrespect me in ANY way. My heart flooded with relief. I remember wishing that your were my father. I remember swelling with love for you, and pride that I was in your family, gratefulness that I had you to protect me. You were a SILENT WARRIOR, and far as I'm concerned that's the best kind to have on your team. I look at your daughter's today, and I see pieces of you. I see parts of you that they'll never know. And that makes me sad. But knowing that you are inside of them. Knowing that they carry your strength, your honor, your beliefs...that encourages me. Knowing that you left pieces of you behind for us to love and share helps more than you know. It got her through it. And I want you to know that your children are beautiful, talented, brilliant, spiritual and grounded, just like you would want them to be. You did good. Your memory lives on through them, and you will never be forgotten. Thank you for leaving your imprint, and thanks for finally letting me know what I needed to know. I love you.