Saturday, April 02, 2011

Extended Family

I know this blog's purpose is for the research of my family's history as well as my various experiences within Genealogy.  Still as I sit here this morning and think about all the wonderful people that I've had/have in my life that were/are family to me when mine was not readily available, they deserve a mention and more.  Although I can't list them all, it does not diminish their effect on my life or my love for them.  

The picture to the left is of my best friend Brenda Smith and myself (pre-loc'd days).  We shared life the good, the bad, the ugly and the painful.  Nine days older than Brenda her wisdom extended mine in ways I didn't understand until it was almost too late.  

She departed this world on September 5th, 2002 and life in every aspect of the word changed for me.  It turned me inward, but more observant.  Although my smile was lost for a very long time the thought of her brought me joy.  If there were ever two individuals destined to meet and exist in each others energy - it was me and that girl Brenda.  Ashe!

D'Juan Bush
That smile I lost came back when a young man made himself a presence in my life when I tried hard to fight it.  Losing Brenda made me not want to be close to someone like that again.  So I kept on doing what I do, but really closed myself off. Yet this young man forced his way in.  He was a young kid growing up next door to me and I just remember him always smiling and helping my mother in with the groceries.  By this time I was a young adult already working - no time for little kids.  So I grew up, moved out and went on my journey in life.  When I lost my Godson Andre (Brenda's son), my Mother, Brenda and a marriage that failed all within 2 years - I couldn't deal with being at home any longer and I took a year Sabbatical in Charlotte, NC.  I was able to regroup, put things in perspective as much as I possibly could and took care of me.  I returned home and those old feelings started to creep back in, wanting to just shrink up and die.  I just felt like the wind was knocked out of me - all of the time.  Still this one person, when I returned home was a "grown ass man" as he liked to remind me time and time again.  

He was a bug-a-boo in every definition of the word.  Every time I got home from work - there he was. Asking me how my day was, what I was doing for dinner, what movies had I seen, help him with his resume and fill out job applications, etc.  I fought it for as long as I could, but he got in and I'm not talking romantic, I'm talking friend.  He was my baby, my brother.  He taught me how to laugh and smile again.  So we ate together, watched movies together, did job searches (my baby wanted a JOB) and we had so much in common  and after months of him working jobs he despised he finally got his dream job to work for Caltrans.  He was a highway maintenance worker.  I watched a young boy become a young man and yes eventually a "grown ass man".  Yet fate has it's own irony...

One day while working my sister (who also worked w/ me) came into my office and told me we needed to leave urgently, Juan had been in an accident - I immediately grab my purse and ready to go and wanted to drive, which my sister would not let me do.  I needed to get to him and quick to see how he was doing and she wasn't moving fast enough.  She looked at me as if this was the most painful news she had to deliver and she simply told me, "FE - he didn't make it".  I felt the wind seep out suddenly.  

Caltrans lead the funeral procession.
D'Juan Bush was my Soul's Savior.  He taught me to keep trying, no matter how bad it is.  I knew these things already but he found a way in and a way to remind me, not with words but by simply showing me.  His funeral was massive, California's then Governor Schwarzenegger had all of California Government offices hold their flags at half staff the day of his funeral. They stopped traffic on all major roads and freeways for his funeral procession.  To say it was surreal is putting it mildly.  They led the procession through the neighborhood of Brookfield where he grew up and you could see people on the street waving at the procession as he was loved by the whole neighborhood (how cocky of me to believe he was only mine). He is missed so much, but I'm so blessed to have had him touch my life.

Once upon a time there were three friends ( one man and two women) chatting online about movies and somehow it got around to books, books specifically on Black Love.  The lack of positive role models and reality in these books. Well since these three friends dabbled a bit in writing they thought it would be fun to come up with a story of their own - with the women only writing for the female characters of the book and the man writing for well, the male characters in the book.  This was to give it that reality factor.

After a few failed attempts, that last attempt had a life of it's own.  Before they knew it they had come up with enough material to actually call it a book.  Myself, Joye Cooks and the male counterpart who I will keep anonymous, together we birthed the book known as Love Mosaics: Indigo Blue under the pseudonym Tatu (meaning three in Swahili).  This story began right after I lost my Mother, Brenda read it while it was being created and then she left, but guess who was at the book signing? Yes, D'Juan... See how wonderful extended family can be?

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