Keeping in touch…

This past weekend was pretty good. Many of the things that I wanted to accomplish, actually got done. Family is cool. My business is expanding and doing well. Church is okay. Basically, a good weekend… But, you know, there was one thing that has been bothering me and that is missing a friend.

If you’ve read my letters, one thing that you’ll know is that I’m all about relationships. In order to survive this world that we live in, we need each other and we need positive relationships. One way of nurturing our relationships is by keeping in touch.

Now I recently reconnected with a friend for over 20 years via Facebook. The crazy part is that we ‘Friended’ each other at least 2-3 years ago but never really had any conversations, which is a whole different subject. But anyway, we were messaging each other the other day where I asked about one of our friends and how she was doing. She told me that our friend had passed away in a horrific car accident a little over a year ago. If you could stab someone thru the computer screen then I was a bloody mess… The words leaped out of the screen, literally taking my breath away and I felt the pain in my heart. I just couldn’t believe it. I know she wasn’t lying but I didn’t believe her. I just had to see for myself. So, I Google’d our friend’s name and sure enough, she AND her 11-year old daughter were killed in a car accident in 2011.

The questions that kept coming up were, “Why am I so distraught?”, “Why is this bothering me like it is?”, “You haven’t seen or spoken to her in probably 20 years. What difference does it really make?” The key here is that periodically, she has crossed my mind over the years and I never followed up on those thoughts.

Before Facebook, and all of this social media, whenever we thought about someone then we called them. If we didn’t have their number, we would call our mutual friends and get their number. Or better yet, we could call their momma and find out where they were.

Sidebar: What happened to having someone in your family that always had the same number? That one person who we ALL could reach out to. That one person that even in today’s world of phone number ignorance, we would reach out to because we knew their phone number by heart. I’m just saying, why do we change our phone numbers every 3-6 months? Really, are you that important? Or are you running from people? I don’t know but it’s not cool…

Sorry about that.

In spite of the good weekend that I had, that one line of thoughts has still been ever present. We need to follow-up on those thoughts. Especially, now since it is so easy to reach out. Most of us are using at least one or two different online social platforms. We can see when people are online and they can see us. There really isn’t any excuse for not taking 10-15 seconds and sending a message just to say, “Hi.” You don’t want to look up one day and realize that you missed it, like I did.

Rest in Peace, Malaka and Maliya Jones…

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

 

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Legacy…

First, I would like to thank everyone for all of the prayers, well wishes and words of comfort and support. Yesterday, was definitely an emotional journey. From getting rid of 9.2 pounds in 4 days, to the possibility of having breast cancer, to experiencing a mammogram (as a man), to knowing there is no cancer, to going shopping… Whew!!! I slept like a baby and I slept ALL night!!!

Over the past few months, especially the last couple of days, I’ve really been thinking about and de-stressing life. I have been analyzing everything. I have made many decisions to simplify life and determined how to be the best steward over what I’ve been given. A lot of reminiscence AND future thought… my mind has been a whole lot of everywhere. But, this one thing has kept coming back… and that is Legacy.

What is legacy? According to Webster, it’s a gift; something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor.

Everyone has received this gift. Everyone is preparing this gift. The question is what legacy am I creating? When I have moved on from this life, what will I be remembered for? What am I leaving my family? What is the theme of my life?

We create our legacy by what we spend our time on. The Bible says that where our treasure is, that’s where our heart is. It also says that the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. We create our world by what we speak and we spend our time making these things come to pass… I no longer want to be known merely as an insurance guy, a musician, a church guy, an entrepreneur, a computer guy or any other title that I’ve been labeled with or given myself. I don’t want to be known as the gadget guy or the one that always has the new stuff, Mr. Technology… I don’t want my children to grow and only see their dad in between appointments, or only know their father as always going to or preparing for church.

The legacy that I want leave is my unending, insatiable desire for relationship. Check this out. When you think that you may be dying, you begin to really consider what is truly important and what is not. Jobs, houses, cars, the latest iPhone, the newest XBOX… None of this stuff matters!!! But, your relationships do!!! The way that we know that “stuff” doesn’t matter is this… Let someone steal it and you can get another one just like it. Can this be done with relationships? Can your family be replaced? Can your best friend be replaced with another best friend just like them? Here’s the long answer, NO.

Put your seatbelt on for this one:
These last few days have also helped me to realize something else. Not everyone that you thought would be there for you is going to be there for you. It’s a harsh reality and a bitter pill to swallow. In times like these the veil is lifted and the masquerade comes to an end. You find out by the phone calls, text messages, comments, Likes and everything else who really has your back.  When it comes to time, I can no longer WASTE any on these people. The funny part is that these would be the same people, first in line at your funeral, full of grief and all broken down. It’s not real. So stop it. How did you treat the person when they were alive? How did you fit into their legacy? Did you help it grow or were you a distraction? I’m sorry. But, I said that I’d always tell the truth and this hurts me more than I can ever express. You just would think that people would pay at least 1% as much attention to you in YOUR time of need to what you’ve given to them in THEIRS. Did you know that it takes less than a second to hit “Like” on a Facebook update? Did you know that it takes less than 5 seconds to reply with “K” on an email or text? Your FRIEND isn’t worth 5 seconds of YOUR precious time? Hmm….

LEGACY is of utmost importance to me and honestly it should be to everyone. Starting today, I pray that we ALL walk in true purpose and destiny. I pray that the legacy that you leave is a positive one. One that will be remembered and spoken of for generations to come…

Again, thank you to all of the prayers and support…

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,
Jackie