I’ll Keep Holding On

While watching Love and Basketball these lyrics are playing as Monica watches Quincy pack his old room. I happened to land upon this scene as I’m flicking through channels to avoid being flooded by more recaps of Whitney Houston’s funeral. Oh that funeral…

It was probably the most beautiful home-going service I had ever seen. In my lifetime, I only recall seeing three. I went to four, but the last one was mostly a blur and I like to think that it never happened. But it did (now’s a good time to grab some tissue).

I was completely saddened by the loss of Whitney because like everyone says, she was like family even to her fans. We were rooting for Whitney. And to follow the death of Don Cornelius? Man, this proves that most times we have no idea what a person is facing. Just think about how much we hide behind our smiles. Personally, I hide most of my whole life. No one really knows the things that I  go through because I don’t know how want to say it. There’s no point. What would be your initial reaction after hearing something sad? “Awe, that’s messed up. I’m sorry to hear that.” Save it. Those words mean nothing without action.

One of the hardest times of my life was having to deal with the death of a close family member shortly after I relocated to LA. As I stated before, I haven’t faced death of loved ones very often. So when I heard that my cousin died, I was ruined. And on top of that, I was alone. Sure, I called a few friends to let them know I would be going home for a funeral, but only two of them reached out to me. I’d have to say I guess these friends did the best they could to…you know, be a friend for me. However, I needed so much more.

No one was there when I came home from work everyday crying. No one was there to take me to the airport crying. No one is here when, years later, I still cry. What I did feel was overbearing love from my family once I got to St. Louis. It’s amazing how tragedy brings people closer.

When something weighs heavy on my heart, I call my best friend, aka my Granny.  I was discussing the Whitney Houston situation with her and how it got me thinking: Hmm. I’m not gonna be okay if we ever have to bury you. I had to whisper it under my breath since the mere thought of it turns my stomach (I can’t even ride past Normandy High School without getting queasy, it’s next to the cemetery). But Granny assured me that I would be just fine. She said I have enough memories of her and anybody else to move on, knowing that they’re watching over us. Then she got off the phone with me to go celebrate Mardi Gras.

Granny, you’re trippin’! There is no way I can go day-to-day knowing someone I cherish will never be on the other end of the phone line again. One small part (or in my case, huge part) of us will grieve forever and another piece of you is tugged with every memory. Admit it. You keep holding on.

So I hope that the Houston/Brown family can learn to live with their loss because she’ll never be forgotten. Neither will my cousin. Hell, he’d probably be offended to know we’re trying to move one without him; he was always the center of attention.

I hold on to thousands, if not, millions of his memories. I remember when we buried watermelon seeds in the back yard just to see if they would grow. I remember how we used to read the booklet for Mortal Kombat and try new combos for ‘finishing him’. And I’ll definitely never forget the Booty Dance we made up to Outkast’s “Roses” while cleaning the grill at McDonald’s. Note to self–teach his kids this dance.

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