Thursday, December 29, 2005


I was reading Just Ask Trent's blog today(12/29/05) and was inspired to say something. He was spitting out thoughts on

If you like my book, I love you,
If you didn't like it, I love you ...blah blah blah blah blah. Go read his blog if you wanna see it all.

Anyway, I was thinking about how one of my nephews always tells me that he loves me when we hang up the phone.

He taught me to say I love you. I never used to say it to friends, family and saved it for when I truly felt like I was in love with some knuckle head.

I hadn't seen my nephew since he was 7 (the reason babies mama and daddy drama and everybody suffers) and then one day he got in touch with my mother to find out where I was. He called me and was 15years old at the time. That was strange to me as I wondered why he all of a sudden wanted to be in contact with me. Now I wondered but I was extremely happy. I loved this child like he was my own. When he was a baby I would take him everywhere with me. People always thought he was mine cuz he looked so much like me. So being the teenager I was at the time...I sho did tell them he was mine.

Anyway, so he wants to see me. He's now living in a dessert town outside of Los Angeles with his mother, sister (from a different daddy) and some new man his mama is with. Of course I would go see him. I took the hour drive outside of LA through the winding one lane mountains in my tiny little convertible. Not the type of car you should drive through the mountains and desserts. Trust me those big ass trucks almost blew me off the road. Thank God I didn't but my top down or I woulda been looking like I had been dunking for apples in sand.

I spent the day with my nephew and we had a great time. Well now that is was time for me to get back down through the dessert and the mountain at night! We all said our goodbyes. My nephew walked me out to my car and gave me a big hug and said I love you.

I just hugged him harder and didn't say a word. My family never was much on saying I love you. I guess everybody just felt like it was a given and we already knew that we loved each other so what's the point of saying it. ( I know weird ass black families)

My nephew was about to stop all that dumb shit right there. As I let him go from my I love you hug, he said. Well don't you love me? I responded of course I do why would you ask me that?

Well you didn't say it and if you don't say it how will I know. Then this little man began to lecture me on why he wanted me to say that I loved him every time that we spoke.

- What if you get in a car accident going down that mountain.
- What if when I talk to you on the phone one day and something happens and I'm gone forever.
- What if anything happens to any of us.

Don't you want that to be the last thing that we hear from each other?

Well I did say I love you, even though it still felt weird. And continued to say I love you when talking to him and the significance of this whole thing came to pass on the worst week of my life.
2 years ago now my Grandmother was becoming very ill. The doctors didn't know how much longer she had. So we all new that we would be going to a funeral soon, it was just a matter of time.

While on this horrible death watch, I got a call that my brother-in-law collapsed at my other nephews high school football game. He's in the hospital and I need to come home. I drove to see about my sister and nephew and niece. When I arrived at my sisters my niece was crying her eyes out and my nephew closed up in his room. I thought my brother-in-law had passed. I was wrong it was my Grandmother that passed.

I spent a little time with my family before driving 2 hrs back to LA to pack and get a plane to Maryland. Within 2 days I was on my way to the airport. I took a shuttle and as I was getting off of the shuttle to LAX, by cell rang. It was my father telling me that my brother-in-law just passed away 10 mins ago. I would be coming back from my Grandmothers funeral to go to my brother-in-laws.

I don't have many friends where my parents live anylonger as I haven't lived there since High School. However, I did have two very best friends there. I knew one of them would be at my brother-in-laws funeral as they knew him too. Turns out neither of them came. Both would reasons. Mark is a Sheriff (friends since 7th grade) and there was some kind of gang thing going on that he had to be a part of. Rhonda (friends since 10th grade) wasn't feeling well. I spoke to her after the funeral and because of my state of mind I didn't go off on her, eventhough I was disappointed she wasn't there. She told me she had had this flu and her doctor told her she shouldn't go out because it was so bad.

I was concerned about her but was very consumed with death at the time and a little irritated that she nor Mark were around to support me. At the end of our call I told her to feel better. All of a sudden my nephews voice came into my head, "Don't you love me". I then told Rhonda that I loved her. She said she loved me too and would talk to me soon. We hung up.

Two days later I got a phone call that Rhonda had passed away. The first thing that came to my mind was that I was glad that I told her that I loved her.



TheBlacks said...

I'm so guilty of this - At times I feel like I'm emotionless and it takes an act of God for me to say "I Love You." I will work on becoming a 'better' person.

ProfessorGQ said...

I can't say it enough...I heard the Indianapolis coach's Tony Dungy say that at his son's funeral.

Lion said... hang in there I didn't know any of this...boy don't make me fly to LA and beat you with that stick on your wall need to open up and talk you may not have many friends from back home but you know I loves you HARPO!


D-Place said...

LOL thanks Lion!

Trent Jackson said...

You know, I appreciate this post....

The last thing I said to Tuesday before we hung up the phone was I love you...

And it's so never get those moments back...

Terrence said...

Very timely Doug.

You are 100% right. Fortunately, my family says (and have said) it most of my life. And although we fuss with each other from time-to-time, when we say, "I love you", it's sincere.

The flip side is that while in St. Louis for Christmas I learned a good friend (since 5th grade/(him)6th grade) was killed in Atlanta during an armed robbery in November 2004. We had fallen out over some bullshit in late 2002 and had not spoken since.

Imagine getting this information from his mother during Christmas. Her heart was still aching and she was still crying like it happen yesterday. Unfortunately, she didn't know how to reach me so that I could attend his funeral.

We never got a chance to reconcile after being friends for so long.

Fortunately, I look at this as another lesson in life. Petty fights leading to estrangement over bullshit should not happen between family and friends because anything could happen. Your nephew is right.

Although I believe we loved each other like brothers, our stubbornness kept us from expressing and verbalizing it in his final years.