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In Remembrance....Bro Dozier and Tony Shamlee

In the early morning hours of Feb 26, I’ve traveled back five years. We are 2 days after the passing of my father and in the hours ahead, we will hear that my cousin has passed away. These 2 strong towers, uncle and nephew, died within days of each other. Our family would mourn and wail in the days ahead with our grief sometimes over taking us. Looking back, it would be easy to focus on our losses, but I choose to focus on the good times. Growing up with a daddy that was a superhero. He flew over tall buildings like Superman every-ready to come to our defense, could solve any puzzle or riddle put before him by evildoers him like Batman and was a helping hand in the community that fought to protect its borders like Black Panther. My cousin was that voice of reason, the fun one that knew how to be a friend and big brother. The day I left for college, he went with us and walked me around campus as if he was my own personal bodyguard. I hear the song in my head now with the lyrics: “…for the good times”. If we focus only on the grief, we’ll miss that there were good times. If we focus only on the grief, we’ll miss the life they led. If we focus only on the grief, we’ll miss the love that solidified the bond. What I choose to remember most are the good times. Do I wish that their life on earth was continuing? Of course, I do. Yet, I am grateful that their suffering has ended. God tells us that there is a season for all things (Ecc. 3:1). Mourning season has left, and it is now a time to heal, build up, laugh, and dance (Ecc. 3:3-4). Some may ask how can you do this? How do you not feel this pain? I never said I didn’t feel it. Yet, I choose not to dwell there. I choose to dwell in the bosom of God where there is peace. I chose years ago to make peace with their passing. I choose to breath without crying, grieving, wailing, moaning every minute. I choose to honor their life by continuing to live my own. Some may easy it’s easy to do as it’s been five years. But this isn’t easy, it’s a choice. This is a choice I made because of who I serve. I serve a God that loved them enough that He didn’t allow them to continue suffering on earth. Yes, my heart was broken and heavy with grief. But the God I serve didn’t love me more than them. Let me say it this way.... if I truly loved them, I had to let them go. Why? So, they would be free to leave without worry of those they left behind. Ask yourself this question, would you rather have them stay with you on earth in pain or transition to eternal life pain free in heaven with God? In theory, Christians should be able to easily answer this question. Yet, our flesh makes us stumble. I want what I want. I want my daddy to be here with me. I want him to walk me down the aisle if I ever get married. But his body wasn’t capable of that. His last days weren’t spent up and walking. He passed quietly in his sleep. My mind and heart had to reconcile and let him go so peace could rest in my soul. Once this peace came, so did the memories of the good times. The glimpses of days gone past of basking in their presence. I could hear my dad giving me advice and now I go, “Right Pops, I got it”. The good times, the lessons, the love, the bond. This is where my focus lies. If you hear nothing else, hear this. Yes, it hurts to have a loved one transition from this life to their eternal existence. Yes, you will mourn. But at some point, your mourning must cease, and your heart needs to open so God’s peace can rest in your soul. Know that God didn’t abandon you by allowing them to die. He doesn’t hate you. Their passing had nothing to do with you. He knew when they would be born and when they would die even before He formed them in their mother’s womb. Allow peace to fill the hollow place and love to guide your steps for the rest of your journey. Be A Blessing and not Just Blessed

- - Nakya

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