This month, I learned more than ever to be prepared. Prepare for the unexpected, the future, good and bad. I never thought that at the age of 30, I would lose a parent, in particular one who showed no signs of being ill.
I’ve experienced an abrupt stop to my norm, lost my best friend, my parent and daily sounding board. I must deliberately PUSH forward with intention, purpose and keep close to heart our daily epic conversations that would last for hours, random text messages laughing at the PuppyMonkeyBaby, and our fabulous routine discussions of of our favorite shows including Scandal, Power, reality TV and current events.
I lost my Godmother, Gabé Ynes (Gigi) Grant, unexpectedly due to a heart attack at the tender age of 55. I never would have imagined a day without her, at least no time soon. She was my ace, my heart, my everything. My Godmother raised me from the second I was born after she held me in her arms wearing pink Chuck Taylor tennis shoes (sneakers) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on March 3, 1987, just 7 days before her 25th birthday.
I was not prepared for the news, to never speak to her again, hug or kiss her. However, what will forever live on is what she’s taught me, her intentional love, and lessons which I am happy to share with you.
Here’s lesson number one: Have Fun!
Have fun and then more fun & don’t let a great opportunity pass you by. Since I was a child, my Godmother would tell me to “go to the party,” “take risks and have fun doing it.” She was passionate about me enjoying life. And I look forward to doing that more in this new season.
Two: Remember, “You’re going places!”
It is truly a blessing knowing that there’s always someone who believes in you. There is power and strength in someone constantly reminding you of your greatness. Though I would get told off with love and affection in a nano second as parents do so well, and even with my flaws and areas of growth on display, my Godmommy always reminded me that I was great, and that no matter what, she knew I was going places and reminded me of that. I am going places! I victoriously claim that over my life.
Three: As you grow in wisdom, there’s no excuse to respond with “I don’t know!”
My Godmommy taught me that once you’re an adult, there’s no longer a justification to say, “I don’t know!” She never ever would accept that response from me regardless of the question. Her explanation was that as I grow in age and wisdom, I know why I make specific decisions, as well as why I respond the way I do. And I must admit, most of the instances when I answered, “I don’t know,” I absolutely did know. I was afraid or intimidated by the answer and in an attempt to dodge a bullet or avoid confrontation, I would respond with, ‘I don’t know,’ which is without a doubt unacceptable. Worse case scenario whatever you don’t know, you learn, so figure it out! Change that “I don’t know,” to “I’m currently looking into that now.” We must take advantage of learning opportunities and changes to enhance our personal awareness.
Four: Have an A Team!
Godmommy taught me to not just a team, but have an ‘A Team.’ An A Team is with you no matter what and furthermore ready for whatever needs to be done. They will stop what they’re doing at the drop of a hat to come to your side and aid. Sometimes, it’s ok go home, get a reminder of where you’re from, where you’ve been and look at your roots that have shaped you. This is always where I find my A Team.
Five: Be empathic and open to compromise for those who are worthy!
One of the last conversations I had with my Godmommy was about me growing in empathy. An impactful parent will pull out your potential and challenge you. Godmommy always did that. We all may need reminders that the world does not revolve around us. We never know what someone’s personally dealing with. Due to that, we should not be quick to judge or act with emotions. Instead we should lead with empathy and be open to compromise.
Godmommy and I were both Pisces, which according to our Zodiac sign, we are emotional in everything that we do. We lead and act based on emotions, but blessed is the person who truly exhibits empathy and is slow to anger and more importantly acts based on love.
Speaking of love, love is how I would end this piece. I love my Godmother and we always communicated how much we loved each other. I am never afraid to tell someone in my life how much I love them. We need to hear, “I love you,” more and more from people who truly mean it, and who is better than your ‘A Team?’ No one!
Godmommy and I spoke about the possibility of her not being around physically. Though the day came far before I could ever imagine, it is love, the love that she always gave me, God’s love, a mother’s love that will get me through. Through her love for me, I will walk in confidence -- because I’m going places, have fun -- because life is truly short, appreciate and be a blessing to my A Team, be cognizant of how I exhibit love, and love others the way God truly loves us.