I haven’t blogged lately because, within the past 2 weeks, I have had to deal with the deaths and attend the funerals of two of my beloved relatives: one connected to me by blood, the other by marriage, both by a strong bond of love. I could say a lot about Nessa & Jamel and the relationship I shared with each of them but if you know me well enough, you’re already aware of it and if you don’t, well, you probably wouldn’t really care to know. That being said, I want to give them their space on my blog, to let the world (well, the small portion who pay attention to BD) know who they were and what they meant to me.
April 21, 1961 – February 23, 2012
My older cousin, Vernisia Eaddy, best known as ‘Nessa,’ was the mother of one and an outspoken, funny and fun-loving diva. She moved to California more than 10 years ago but stayed in touch with family on the East Coast and made several visits back home. Each time she was in town, the family carved out quality time together that was always filled with love & laughter. Despite the fact that the marriage ties that originally made us family had been cut years ago, the bond remained and we never ceased regarding each other as relatives. She loved me as I loved her and her effervescent presence, bold fashion sense & big laughter will be sorely missed.
January 10, 1972 – March 4, 2012
My first cousin, Jamel M. Tarver, and I shared a special bond. Not only were we blood relatives, born less than a year apart but our fathers were close brothers who practically raised us as siblings. Jamel was the kind of cousin/big bro who was endearing yet annoying. He was there, whether you wanted/needed him to be or not. He expressed his love with action not just words and was genuinely concerned with his loved ones’ well-being. He loved to be with his relatives and was determined to keep his own family (that included his wife and four children) together. Jamel had some struggles throughout his short life but he found solace in his relationship with God and his faith was strong. He was a committed husband, an involved & doting father, a loving and beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. Over 1000….ONE THOUSAND…..people attended his wake & funeral to pay their last respects. That, in itself, speaks to the kind of person he was. Jamel was not just my cousin, he was someone I could count on….at any time for anything. If what I needed was within his power, he’d have made it happen for me.
I’m going to miss his big smile, gregarious personality, belly-deep laughter and insane protection….but I will forever hold and feel in my heart, his everlasting love.
Rest in peace, my loves………