I was not ready to say “Goodbye”…

Disclaimer: if you are really persnickety about death, heaven, Christianity, talking to God in AAVE and other bullshhh that quells how Black people process the death of a loved one, then please kindly move the ____ on. I’m grieving and I’m not playing by anyone’s rules.

That was my last message to you publicly on Facebook. Today, is your 49th birthday, but you are celebrating it in heaven rather than on earth. I was NOT ready to say goodbye to you. You know I’ve always been an emotional ass punk and you were always the practical “it is what it is” person. God knows I’m an emotional ass punk. So for the life of me I don’t know why He keeps taking people I love away from me before I’m ready for them to go. God, chill with that that, please. The older I get the harder it is to swallow the loss of human beings I love.

There were so many funny, comical, and supportive messages between us. I genuinely cared about your humanity and have done so since I was 16 years old. You were a dear friend. Historically and unbeknownst to me until these past 3 years revealed you were also my friend spiritually.

Today is your birthday.

I thought I would be okay, but here I am choked the entire f___up, crying at my desk, writing in your honor. I’m sure if you were here you would kindly scold be for being super emo and a big cry baby.

There were so many things I had never told you.

You were the first boy to which I memorized their phone number.

You were the first boy who I actually took the bus across town to see. Mf’er you lived far. I didn’t know anyone on the east side on that stretch of Chatham. I had to learn a whole new bus route to see your ass.

You were the first boy I called and was talking shhh or holding the phone with all hours of the evening like a true “herb”. At least we got to laugh about the fact that I called yo’ ass all the time and was talking about absolutely nothing. Youth is wasted on the young. F*** was I talking about??? Nothing important. Ever. I just liked you like a corny ass herb. I’m still embarrassed about that shit to this very day.

You were the first boy to make me realize that I was bigger than Chicago. I was destined to see the world and I didn’t have in me to play small to fit in. I’ve always been large in spirit and I always stood out in one way or another.

You were the first boy to make me realize that I deserved to be adored and that I refused to be treated like an underling. How many times did you f’ing piss me off with your insipid inability to realize how much of a f’ing boss I really was? To you I was always that little girl that held the phone from 79th Street, but to me I was going to conquer the f’ing world. I spent much of my teenage years and early adult years figuring out how my freedom, from the box that they make for dark skin Black American girls to die in, was going to be won.

You were the first boy to be vulnerable in front of me and be unapologetic about it. You taught me to just be who you are and that should be enough for those who really rock with you.

A lot of times I watched you from the sidelines. I loved to see your 1,000 watt smile when you felt good. I was proud of you, kiddo.

You wanted to major in aeronautics when you got to college. I remembered that my entire life. I thought that was soooo dope, when we were younger. And though you didn’t go the traditional route to get into the aeronautic field, YOU STILL DID IT.

You still did it, beautiful Black man.

And I was so proud of you.

I wanted you to win at life. So losing you so soon after reconnecting with you breaks my heart. You loss your Mom. You loss your Dad. Now all of us that loved you dear friend, we loss you.

I’m really fucked up over losing you. Maybe it’s because I was joking how we were only 8 months apart and on my last birthday I said to you we were going to be the same age for 3 mos so I had the right to call you “kiddo”.

Today is your birthday and you are celebrating it in heaven. You were so loved and adored here on earth. Please know that forever. Hey, while you are up there say hi to my Momma, my Daddy, my Aunties, my Uncles and please tell God I said “hi”.

Be easy, Flyboy.