Dear Mommy, IOU

Dear Mommy,

I owe it to you to be a good man, to be better than any man that has come before me, to be better than any man that has loved you. It’s always been my job to make you proud and to be a great example as a man so that you could hang you hat on the fact that you were a single mother that was able to raise a man that made the right decision. You raised a man that knew without you even saying what was right and wrong in regards to how I treat the women not only that I was with but all the women in and around my life.

The other day when I was hugging some of my favorite women in my life (Key, Jade, Traci and Aunt Roxanne) I began to think “why is it that whenever I see the females in my family, from my sisters to my cousins, they just hug me and bury themselves in my arms” and I guess it’s because of what I am and have always been to them…an example of what a man should be and could be. A beacon of love, comfort, security and warmth and I am sure Key and the girls feel the same way about me and I owe that all to you. I’d like for all women to be able to feel that same comfort from the men in and around their lives, not the opposite, not fear but safety.

I owe it to you because I watched you deal with a lot of things through life and I always said “I won’t do that, I’m never going to make a woman feel that type of emotion”. I owe you because you motivated me to always be good, you held me to a standard without even having to preach it or say it.

I have been doing it moderately but I am going to start using my voice more to campaign for women, to aid in building better treatment and understanding between men and women. It’s going to be a long road and I see I have a lot of work to do but I owe it to you for all you represent to me as a woman. Whenever I see mistreatment of women, whenever I see women scared, hurt etc. I visualize you in the situations and I get infuriated, sad, disgusted and many other things because I would never want you or any women that I love to have to endure such despicable things. So Mommy I owe you, I owe it to you to do more, to be better and I will be.

Who I am today, who I will be tomorrow and who I will be moving forward as I attempt to try to help adjust the mindsets of many of these men, as I try to teach the next generation of men on how women should be treated, is the direct result of you and I promise….I won’t disappoint you Mommy.


New Music: “Help Myself” by Jay Wile feat. Patrick Pryor

Just wanted to share some new music from a friend of mine, he made the beat and the homeboy Jay singing is bodying it.

Neo’s Old School Joint Of The Day “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” by Bone Thugs N Harmony

Being from NJ, most of what I knew hip hop wise was basically in the NY/NJ area so when this came out my ears were like “hey wait a minute, what is that…I kind of digs it”. Then once they started rapping I was like whoa and it’s crazy cause this is one of those songs that I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing around that time frame. And keeping it all the way a buck I think it was more my best friend Rob that got me hooked to this and Bone cause he was on them heavy.

New Heat from @SkillzVa – “In A Minute”

Yall already know I’m a huge Skillz fan, top 10 MC in my opinion, so I’m always here for some new music from him and this joint here is good money. Got that smooth, mellow vibe to it plus this Whispers-inspired video is just perfect…salute to you Skillz, I love creativity like this…1

My Story: June 20, 2018 (It Hasn’t Been Easy)

It hasn’t been easy….that honestly was the best way I could title this and best means to describe my life for the past month or so. I’m not totally in the space that I want to be in internally but one thing that has helped me throughout my many years in this earth is to write when I’m in need of release, it has always been a form of therapy for me. This is a little long but just bear with me, I have to get this off.

Many things have transpired recently, majority family related, so I’ve needed my time to just deal with those things. When I hit these moments I find myself short of words, not wanting to talk so I just won’t because I’ve always been of the mindset that if I don’t have any thing worth saying it’s best to stay quiet and to myself. Not that I would have been negative but when I’m not right I can be different and I didn’t want to be that to anyone that knows me to be the opposite.

It started with work and a few projects that I was working on at my job, in my new position…well not new because I have been there for almost a year but new in the scope of things I’m learning and doing. The tasks were stressing me out, I was making a few mistakes here and there so it was stressing me because I don’t like messing up or making mistakes. Just felt like I couldn’t do anything right, like I was letting my boss, who truly believes in me, down…so it was tough for a few weeks.

Funny thing was my boss was laughing at me when I told her how I was feeling after it was all said and done and she was like “a mistake is nothing more than another opportunity for knowledge…I sometimes hold you unfairly accountable like I do the rest of the team and its because you are extremely good at everything you do, I tend to forget that you are new but I am very happy with my selection for you on our staff and don’t get discouraged because you are on your way, believe me”. So her reassurance helped a lot.

In all of that, family things arose. I had known for some time that my Aunt wasn’t doing too well health-wise after speaking with my father on a few occasions and based on everything I was told I knew we were on borrowed time. From dealing with my Uncle Jeff’s bout with cancer a few years ago and with life experience I sort of am able to now accept that life has its plans and for whatever reason sometimes that involves saying goodbye to ones we love so dearly, so I mentally began to prepare myself for the day I got a call saying she was gone.

Of course I went through the normal emotions, “why her, why take someone that is so loved by everyone she comes in contact with?”….”why take my Aunt away from her kids, siblings, family, friends, why not take a murderer or someone who doesn’t deserve this life we live?”. But then I had to chill because it’s not my place to ask those questions, but in all of this I started to sink more and more. Then as life tends to do, it began to snowball because I find out that another Uncle, the one I call my personal Uncle Phil cause we have a relationship very similar to he and Will’s from the Fresh Prince was in the hospital and they didn’t know what was wrong. They know now what the problem was/is but it changes so much for him and my cousin now as more health precautions have to be set forward to avoid it happening again.

So that knocked me down for real because it just felt like “come on, I mean what’s next!”. And then the next happened as my aunt passed away a few days later. From the moment my father told me I have been stuck in neutral, haven’t felt like being social, haven’t been myself all the way around and just became numb. Even when you try to prepare yourself you never can when you lose a loved one, the pain is there regardless, and it’s a pain that is magnified by how I love those around me. What I mean by that is I tend to hurt more for those that it’s affects in my life as opposed to myself, I always feel like I am alright and ill be fine I just need to grieve but to know my loved ones are in pain just further crushes me.

My Aunt’s kids, their pain, the pain of my father and my other Aunt who through the years now have had to bury their mother and younger brother and now their sister, my siblings, cousins, my family in California whom everyone has recently had the chance to connect with to further strengthen the family bonds and relationships and countless others my Aunt touched while she was here, are where my head and heart are currently. I mean I got a message from one of my friends that I went to elementary school with that used to babysit my little cousin for my Aunt, offering her condolences. So again my mind and heart are and have been with others through all of this. I hate when people I love are hurting and that causes me more grief and pain than anything.

This is not a generic thing when I say this, not just the cliche statement but my Aunt truly was a beautifully amazing woman. She brought and provided so much strength to our family and always have. She was an AMAZING mother to my cousins and a wonderful sister to my father and aunts, and it goes without saying that she was a fantastic Aunt to me and my siblings/cousins always. She didn’t play no games about her loved ones either, wildly protective and you just always knew she had your back no matter what. She didn’t need to know why you were fighting she just gonna join in and throw them hands. She was the Aunt that’s gonna give it to you straight, no chaser but going to hug you, love you and kiss anything that was wrong away. She was accepting of everyone, she was the glue. Everyone’s family has a few glue people and she was one of ours. One thing that always stuck out to me was everytime I spoke with her all she would ever do is talk about my wife and kids, tell me how much she loves them, how beautiful my family is and how proud of me she was…and I mean like EVERY time I spoke with her. I carry and take all my memories of her with a huge smile and will always be sure to keep her memory alive just as I do with all those that impact my life. I will pass the stories down to my kids, show them pictures of her, pics of them with her and they will always know they had a Great-Aunt that loved them tremendously.

Also in the midst of all of this the anniversaries of the passing of my Uncle Jeff (5 years) and my Uncle Bill (1 year) were on back to back days in the first week of this month so my emotions were a bit, well all over the place. So adding all of these things together I truly needed time to just be to myself. I thought about both of my Uncle’s children, my Aunt Patsy (Uncle Bill’s wife) and everyone else and what they were possibly going through or feeling.

So this hiatus wasn’t just about me, it was about being in a place where I didn’t feel like I could help anyone, didn’t feel like I could offer any words of comfort that would be effective, I wanted to be available if my loved ones needed me just as I still am whenever they are ready or need some words. I preach “balance” a lot when I speak to people and my balance was way off and still off just slightly but I know writing and expressing myself has helped me in the past so I wanted to do that instead of being in solitude. I also want to take a second out to thank my wife for her support and to my entire family for their understanding and love as we were dealing with such a major loss. I appreciate everyone that checked up on me, every single one of you and like I said when I initially mentioned about my Aunt’s passing, please…any energy that you want to send my way to lift me up out of a dark place please, PLEASE send that energy to my family, send the prayers to my family because when they are up… I am up…✌🏾