I have the privilege and pleasure to live in the home of my grandparents and my mother. Over the years this house has provided me life-long memories. One of sincerest memories I can recall from my youth is of a plaque that hung on my grandparents’ basement wall which read,
“I could sail the waters of all the world, Bitter, Wild and Blue: And never I’d find a friend to love, Like the friend I’ve found in you.
I could walk down the roads of the word, And knock on all doors forever: And I’d never find a friend like you, Never, never, never.”
Those words have been a part of my life since I was teenager. Over the years, I have had the occasion to pass those words in spirit and in writing onto people who have meant a great deal to me; particularly young people I have taught.
For me God truly blessed me not only with a wonderful wife and son, who are to me manifestations of God’s perfection, but also God blessed me with a goddaughter named Taressa, a sparkle in my eye.
Taressa came into my life and that of my family through my classroom as a 7th grade student. Taressa is now a promising college student. Taressa is a bright young lady with a youthful zest for life. She has a captivating smile that has helped her to withstand many of life’s obstacles. Although Taressa is blessed with beauty and charm, she is not one to be pushed around.
Taressa will speak her mind.
Over the years, Taressa has become a dear part of my extended family. When I speak of Taressa I am emotional.
I have made a commitment to Taressa; to help her, to support her, and to be the example of what a good black man is supposed to be as he lives and breathes. Too many young people have a view of manhood and manliness which is based on violence, disrespect, lies, and deception. I do not believe cursing, hitting, and being verbally abusive to people around you, if you care for and love them is a sign of toughness or strength.
I will always care about her and want her to be happy and successful I will never turn my back on her. I want to take the weight of the world off her shoulders, bear her burdens, and carry her cross.
I recognize I will not live forever. But while I am here I will have her back and be a friend she will always know and trust as true and sincere.
“When she closes her eyes, I hope she occasionally thinks of me, because I will be there for her, No need to hesitate, my love will be there always.
When she needs a friend, I’ll be there till the end, Come rain or shine, I’ll be standing by her side, l’ll never turn away, my love will be for her always.”
The stars are bright and out there for Taressa, and she is eager to soar and to grab them.
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