Monday, August 10, 2015

An Open Letter To My Baby Brother, 1954-2015!

March 2, 1954 - July 24, 2015
We got you back home, Austin. It’s been a challenging two weeks for us but even tougher for you and the years of suffering. You played it off with me as long as you could but the pain would not let you hide it any longer. I am so grateful that the children saw you in those last days. It wasn’t easy for them then and it definitely was not any better at your celebration. You have some beautiful children and I always thought you were so blessed to have them. You have a son that favors you and a daughter that favors her mother.  And a wife that is loyal and supportive. I found that so awesome! There is so much to be thankful for.

You would have been proud. Unity Mortuary conducted it with class and dignity. It was a fantastic tribute and the Colonel oversaw all of the details. I know, I have always called Melinda; Colonel. It was meant to respect for her rank. As you know, I am very proud of her for her military achievements and her soon to have doctorate. I never meant it to sound impersonal by not calling her Melinda. I enjoy calling her colonel. She provided the pictures for a slide show that included the family, you and mom. I saw a side of you that I never knew. I guess we both are private people and keep our feelings suppressed for fear of reprisals. I still have a tough time letting people in. I also know that we are both stubborn individuals. You never got a chance to meet April.

Devin and Melinda read some beautiful poems and Teria got up to stand beside Devin when he started to fill up with tears and struggled to go on. But he got it together. It was a beautiful tribute. Speaking of Teria, that young lady can truly sing. As you, mom and Nana look down on us with prayer, you will see her rise to fame. She has a lovely voice and that song she sang brought tears, shouts and thunderous clapping. It’s called “Hope You Can Dance.” Gladys Knight sang it in the “Family That Preys.” Lee Ann Womack sings it, too! Another song that stood out was “I Look To You” by Whitney.

Tia and your grands, Michale, Calim and I forgot the name of the oldest, made it. I had not seen her over 20+ years. I still recognized her as she, too, favors her mother. I told them all at the celebration that I will call them at least once a month to stay in better contact. I can’t be responsible for waiting to see our family during grieving situations. I need to also keep in touch when things are well. Our cousin Robert has always been that person. I mailed Aunts Babb and Dot the program.

It still hasn’t dawned on me that you and I can’t talk or disagree anymore. The movie “Kingdom Come” is on and I can’t help but think of us when we were kids and became adults. I am so grateful (blessed) that we reconciled last year but deep inside I am feeling the loss. When mom left, the world took on a different view, now there’s another view and it’s getting better how I view it. It’s hard for me to let go, Austin, it’s really tough. I couldn’t truly cry until 3 months after mom and I think it was a TV commercial that triggered it.

I have so much to talk about but even if you were around, I probably would not even think about it. I wonder why when people are gone from our lives we are ready to talk but not always knowing what to talk about?


The kids kept some of your ashes for their rings and bracelets. They spread the rest over the lake and Anderson. Jewelry that holds loved ones remains, never knew that. I’m getting old. I’m glad you’re back home, You will always be my baby brother, Austin. I love you!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Flag is Down, July 10, 2015!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Confederate Flag is Coming Down in South Carolina!

Yes, the law was passed after a long night of contentious discussion. For once a serious racial dialogue took place in the hallowed chambers of our state capital. The Civil War has been over but there were still some fighting. This battle was won between two opposing forces, heritage and pride, hate and fear, black and white, old and young and republican and democrat. It had to take the lost of innocent lives, specifically, nine, including one of their own to change the hearts and minds of the old guard. Amazingly, from the exact two three weeks of the Emanuel Nine deaths, the South Carolina legislature joined together to take down the Confederate Flag. To some it was a symbol of heritage but to many it was used as a symbol of fear and hate. The battle might have been won but the war will continue in the minds of many who will use excuses not to move forward but to remain in the past. A special thanks goes to the many who supported and orchestrated this historical change. God bless South Carolina and the United States!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

9 Deaths, 9 Funerals, 1 Million Tears!

3 men and 6 women from 26 to 87 years of age shot down in the middle of worship. A place where it was thought to be safe for all, a House of God. Our prayers are with the Charleston Community, the National Community and the World Community! It is so very tragic that people still hate each other. Pray, brothers and sisters, pray! How much more will it take for us all to come together?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

And The Buzz This Time Is ...!

I don’t hear much in the news about Miley Cyrus’s opinion relating neither being a boy or girl. Whatever sexuality she claims, it’s her business. But the big news buzz is about Rachel Dolezal, the current NAACP chapter president in Spokane, Wash., who was exposed for pretending to be a black woman. And this is news because a white person pretends to be black! Any news about any black person pretending to be white? How about a gay person pretending to be straight? I don’t have time for that. People tend to lean towards gossiping about other folks business but what about events that are affecting them now? Is the media even concerned about wars, jobs, health care, government obstruction, income disparity, racial inequality and cyber theft? Roadways and bridges are unsafe and are deteriorating and racial relations seem to be going backwards. The homeless population is growing and more veterans are committing suicide every day! Who will help these groups of people? These topics are just a few but they are much more important than worrying about what people believe about themselves.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you to those who have served our country and to the many more that supported, encouraged and lost those that did! Stay loving and proud!

William McDowell - In