This is a vivid account of loss, grieving, healing and overcoming adversity. It isn’t a textbook solution to the ills of this very cold and hard world, but it’s a part of the human experience from my eyes. One of the many characteristics that God gave all humans, is the ability to connect through the soul. It is the soul that houses your zest for life, the pain of loss and your love for yourself and mankind at large. I hope this journal entry is the one start of many to come to assist you in being the best you!! Welcome to the first day of saying “I AM ME!”
I am currently writing this with mixed emotions. August 13, 2010 is a day I will never forget. As shots ring out, “pop…pop..pop…” Sirens and lights are everywhere. My phone relentlessly rings at 4am amidst hollering and screaming- “He’s GONE”! Who? What happened? As my phone blew up with calls from everyone crying, not one time did a tear fall out my eye. I tried to make myself cry but it wouldn’t work. I always wondered why and where are the tears? Time in its normal pattern, moved forward, which brought birthdays and morbid death anniversaries, of which still no sign of emotions. In my head I’m screaming, “I NEED A BREAKTHROUGH, I’M HURTING SOO BAD! MY HEART ACHES”. Every conversation I wish I could’ve had with you but you’re aren’t here.
I went through an “interesting” breakup (that at best is putting it lightly) at that time I knew something had to change. I enrolled in school and it was something this time that was different. I was sooo excited and I worked really hard but still didn’t know why. I went through my first year and everything was great. As I spoke with my counselor she says, “Harry, you’re on track for graduation”. I replied saying, “When is graduation”? She said, “August 13, 2016”! Immediately, I asked, “how can I (in my head I am thinking who me?!) graduate early?” We re-arranged classes and this unfathomable graduation date was set for April 30, 2016. I received a call from Financial Aid telling me I didn’t have enough aid to cover the overlapping classes. I would either have to pay out of pocket or switch my classes back to the original date which would be, August 13, 2016. I went into deep prayer asking God- What are YOU telling me?
With much prayer, the answer finally came. For the last 5 years, my family would send text messages to each other, including social media postings of our undying love. Remembering your contagious laugh and beautiful smile but then instantly I am enraged because the killer still hasn’t been charged for your murder. 2016 marks the 6th year of departure. I will be graduating from college with my first degree. The weight has been lifted. I carried this weight for so long because I had to bring peace back to my family on this horrible day for us. I never knew this was my assignment for this season.
Every time I wanted to quit, I could hear the last words you said to me- “Carl, man, I’m proud of you. I’m going to come visit you”! Those were the words you said to me a month before you were murdered. Every time I drive to Lorain, I felt sick because I can’t understand how could someone kill my brother? He’s gone. I hear, “Let Damis rest”. But how can I? I was never able to deal with it! Brandy, Boo and you are my brothers, it’s just not right. I carried the title of being the baby boy with pride. 4-1 is you. You’re gone now. I can still picture how you look in your casket. I still remember the call. It’s not real at times.
This degree is not just a degree to me. I was able to change the meaning of #813 to make it a better day. I faced a very deadly accident, but God kept me here to bring peace to this family on this day. If I could have one last conversation with you. It would go like this-My dear brother I miss you so much. Life isn’t the same anymore. Come back for one more family evening. Can you laugh one more time for me? I was in your wedding. Tell me you’re proud of me again. Tell me why you had to go.
It was on my heart to write to this journal. As you have read above, my brother was murdered due to a senseless act of violence on August 13, 2010. I graduated with my Associates in Business Management on anniversary. August 13, 2016. When I wanted to quit, I could hear his last words to me and that pushed me to make it to the end. Was it easy? No, but was worth it. Not only did I graduate, but I was able to change the worst the day of my family life to a victorious day. No matter what you go through in life, don’t stop because someone is counting on you to make a change. Damis, I love you!