It’s funny how people want to publicly acknowledge you when they presume that you are about to meet your demise. For the past week, I’ve been subjected to news feeds about Lamar Odom as he struggles to hold on to life. It seemed like everybody and their grandmother wanted to talk about Lamar in the past tense. As soon as the news hit, media swarmed in for the coverage and attention seekers came out of the woodworks to get a piece of the light. Whether it’s Khloe being by his bedside, Rev. Jackson coming to pray, or the Ice Cream Man calling out Kobe Bryant (I mean really ninja?), everyone is trying to get a piece of the sun. Personally I think they are all fucking vultures because it’s all about an agenda. Why wait to my man is on his deathbed to express your love and concern? Why isn’t there any specials being run about depression? A better question is now that Lamar is making a recovery, will that same love and concern be expressed and shown?
You know, we as people have a piss poor way of loving each other. We don’t cherish each other while we are here. We rather wait until things become grim before saying how we feel. Why does it take air carriers colliding into skyscrapers or marathon runners being bombed before we are moved to help one another? Hell, the other morning I couldn’t even get my neighbor to help me jump start my car! (shout out to State Farm) Look, I’ve been to enough funerals to understand that time is a commodity that can’t be purchased. I’ve sat with elderly individuals in nursing homes who cry regretting how they didn’t make time for their children who now refuse to visit. Now before you offer up the excuse about how your life has you soooooooo busy, I want to offer up the story between my sister, Aimee, and I.
This week is normally hard for me. I try to keep as busy as I possibly can so that I don’t have to think about what I’ve lost. Even as I write now, it’s laborious for me to keep my focus while my eyes began to swell. This year will be the third year since my sister lost her battle with Lupus. She was brilliant in her fight. She was indeed a gladiator. She lived her final year with no regrets. She was more than my sister, she was my best friend. And to think, I may have never known her at all . . . . . . .
You see, Aimee didn’t live with us. She was my half sister that my father rarely acknowledged although she lived fifteen minutes away from our home. I vaguely remember spending time with her at my grandmother’s house when I was barely in elementary school. Outside of a picture that was in our living room, I never spoke to her. To be honest, I thought she was a cousin that lived in another state. She was never at any of the family functions and she was never mentioned. In spite of my father, my mother kept in touch with Aimee, unbeknownst to me. When I graduated from high school, I made it my business to find her and talk to her. She never returned any of my calls. She did however return a letter prior to my college graduation. I wouldn’t speak to Aimee until after I got married. That conversation . . . . . man! We talked for what might have been half of the day! There were so many laughs and tears shed during that phone call. She told me how she felt ostracized by our father, my brother, and I. When I described the dysfunctional family dynamic, she was surprised. I told her that despite the time lost, I wanted my sister in my life. Without hesitation, she forgave and obliged.
For the next ten years of my life, I had the satisfaction of knowing a goal-oriented, charismatic, loving woman who reminded me a lot of myself. Our conversations always provided laughter as well as motivation. Her wisdom was shared as I went through my divorce and she helped me find counsel as I emotionally spiraled out of control several times thereafter. She became my go to. When her health began to decline, she didn’t let anyone know it. We rarely discussed her illness. When we did, we talked about recovery and plans that she had once she got through rehabilitation. She wanted to be a bodybuilder! She was insistent to live life on her terms. To honor her memory, that’s what I try to do today.
So why did I write this? I know that it’s not about dating at all. It’s about loving the people in your life today while they are able to smell the flowers. The old folks always say, “Give me my flowers while I yet live”. There is a reason for that. We tend to spend our valuable time and money on people that don’t care for us. As we are heading into the holiday season, I’m reminded of that fact more and more. We are working overtime to buy expensive gifts for our children instead of giving them the time that they have begged and pleaded for all year. Think about the people that sincerely love you that you keep putting off because you’re too busy. Think about the people that you love but you’ve been holding a grudge because of a mistake. Let that shit go and make the time you have left matter! We none know the day or the hour when life will come to an end for any of us. Make today count. Love each other.
Special dedication to my sister, Aimee Davis. Gone but never forgotten. Love you sis.