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October 12th

Monday was a day off, but as Tuesday approached, something about this week was off for several reasons, now on Thursday, October 12th, it all makes sense. I now remember.

It has now been three long, complicated, empty, and tough years since I lost my rock, my friend, my champion, and my mother, Sheila A. Lee. Sheila was lost to Covid-19 on October 12th, 2021. That day burns deep in my mind, heart, and soul as I reflect on the gravity of that phone call. I go numb thinking about that exact moment, and I would never wish that burden, and pain upon my worst enemy.

Over the last three years, I have had moments to celebrate, cherish, and laugh, more so than moments to cry. As I reminisce and reflect on what my mother gave me as a gift of love, sacrifice, and family, I find myself wanting to ask her so many questions:

  • How do you make hot-water cornbread like Grandma Carrie did?

  • How do you brush Vivian's hair in a way that does not make her scream bloody murder?

  • When do you know when to put up your Christmas tree?

  • Could you give me just one more hug and kiss?

  • How long do you let a dirty pot soak in the sink before you wash it?

  • What do you do when you don't know what to do?

  • When should you stop allowing your kids to use their favorite word, poop?

  • What are you and Dad doing together these days?

  • How do I get over missing you?

  • Can you give me a sign that you are seeing and hearing all this?

These questions range from the mundane and straightforward to the more spiritually-based. But I find myself asking these questions in the quiet morning commutes to work on my bike, during a quick walk around the block, or looking at my kids as they argue over who should take the second shower as they prepare for bed.

In pursuing life's answers, I draw strength from my roles as a husband, a friend, and a father to my cherished family: Lauren, Vivian, and Grayson. As a husband, I offer unwavering support, as a friend, I provide comfort and companionship, and as a father, I serve as a guiding presence. This journey of self-discovery is rooted in a deeper sense of purpose, not just for myself, but also in forging a legacy of love and wisdom for my family.

Mom, I can figure things out without you being directly here with me, but I hope you're proud of what I've done thus far in my journey.

I love you, and please tell Dad I will keep working hard.

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