Today my family ( Sisters: Keianne and Zhanelle. My mother: Traci. Cousin: James. My granny: Zanny. My bro-in-law: Josh) sat and watched our home videos from back in the day. We laughed, I mean we really cracked up from our 90’s attire and our singing, dancing, and camera hogging. But as we continued watching the movies, I began to think about how simple life was when we were altogether, laughing, sharing our small, meaningless moments and thought about us today.
We are always fighting, arguing yet sticking to one another when things seem glum. But nowadays, Papa isn’t in the background telling us to smile, yelling at us when we do stupid shit, or directing a home video like he use to because papa died. He used to always say “Who loves you baby?” and I was so young I would name everybody shy of God before saying “You do pop-pop. You love me.” and he would kiss my forehead and say “That’s right. No one loves you more than me.” And in a way, he was right. He was the only man that showed me what a man was supposed to be even with his imperfections.
I say this to question, are we making our families proud? Are we carrying the legacy we have accordingly? I graduated from college. I write. I help people. I try and give whatever I have. Is my papa proud? I’m sure he is. He died right before I graduated from college, but I knew then and I know now that he loved me to death and he was proud. We should live our lives trying to be an example of what our parents saw in us from the beginning. We aren’t going to be perfect but damn it we can try and be as close to it as possible.
We need to give our family a name. Loser, baby mama, deadbeat dad, college dropout, teen mother/father shouldn’t be the labels we hold… Tonight, I saw my great grandma, great aunts, great cousins, and my papa for the first time in forever and these same people have died and what have I shown them I am? What will you show your deceased family?
Am I preaching? Kind of, but it’s all for the betterment of my community. My generation and the one after mine sucks ass! We care about nothing and give up when things are hard. Our elders didn’t. We can do much better. I was a flyyyyy kid you know? I was so content with wearing leggings and pink and yellow floral shirts while dancing to “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin and giggling with my granny. It’s only because my family made life great. Before I understood who God was I had a family who exemplified those traits. They loved me unconditionally and I MUST take care of them in return.
Rest in Paradise: Lucille Campbell, My great grandmother. Mimi (Great aunt). Louise (great aunt). Sunny (great cousin). Tony Watkins (cousin). Last, but not least: LARRY ROSS SHEFFIELD, the greatest love of all… my papa.
Here are some clips from the home videos:
The beginning of my legacy. On the left one of the baddest women from Bluefield, Va. Mimi (Rip) and the lady who began MY legacy my great grandmother Lucille Campbell (RIP). Weren’t they absolutely gorgeous… uhhhhhhh, I drool over them.
You guys, all I wanted to say in so many words was: MAKE YOUR FAMILY PROUD AND UPHOLD YOUR VALUES.
“LOVE, PEACE, AND POETRY… 1.”