To All the ‘Mothers’

This Mother’s Day I’m taking the opportunity to reflect on someone who wouldn’t technically count as a mother but definitely played that role without any regard. That mother was my father.

I was 9 years old when my mother passed away. It was at this time when my father stepped in and became both my parents. What didn’t occur to me was the pain and loss he was going though.   As a child you feel like your loss is greater and  it’s hard for a kid to be empathize with how loss also affects “Daddy”.  This man lost his best friend, wife and life partner.  Then he performed this juggling act without showing us his underbelly of pain and all the things that go with a tragic loss.

I recently took a self improvement course and was asked to recall some early in my life that could have aided in my personality traits.  Looking back at this great loss at a young age,  I figured this was the beginning of when I learned to stand strong in the midst of anxiety by watching my father. “Work with what you got!”,  are the words that have resonated with me. Despite your weaknesses, despite your circumstances and in the face of adversity, “work with what you got!”.

This gentleman also made sure that the countless resources he had we’re also exhausted.  This included my 2 amazing sisters, many women in the church, school,  neighborhood and in my family that stepped up to help make me into the gentleman that I am today. Thank you all!

To my dad and the countless “Superwomen” in my life I want to say happy Mother’s Day.

Renew You

Who was Prince?

Prince.PurpleRain.OnyxBarbersAn unforgettable figure in the music industry has passed away, and it happened so suddenly and prematurely. It’s forced me to ask myself this question about one of my favourite artists. Who was Prince? A singer, an entertainer, a writer, a musician, a poet, a mentor or a talent scout? Was he all those things? I started to ask myself these questions last week when something very strange happened to me.

I was in a colleagues barbershop trading secrets when the news of Prince’s passing came up. We were commenting on how terrible and sudden the  information was when a customer chimed in and asked, who was Prince?

I said excuse me? What did you say? He repeated, “Who was Prince?” I was in shock! How is this possible? Have I been living in denial? Am I the only one to have seen Prince as one of the biggest entertainers and musicians of our time?

Instantly I started doubting myself. Then my colleague who is 28 years my senior and Italian confirmed my sentiments in his response. You don’t know who Prince is? I know what you all are thinking. The customer is probably a kid, right? Wrong! He is a grown man, thirty plus! And he’d honestly never heard of Prince. My mind was racing. How many others out there are ignorant to pop culture.

You don’t have to be into music to have heard of Prince. Am I right? Or am I wrong? Is Prince not on the level of Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Bob Marley and Michael Jordan? He’s ICONIC! If you dropped any of these names in any parts of the world with any age group, they would at least find them recognizable, right? Maybe not! I need you, the public, to comment and give me your answers. Was he great? Was he eccentric? Was he an artist? Was he iconic? Who was Prince?

Renew you.