What do you leave behind for the youth that follows you? That is a question I have been asking myself as this move creeps up on me. My nephews, i'm very close to my boys. Everyone knows that my parents and I play a huge part in their lives, and they play a huge part in ours as well. I heavily went back and forth because of my concern of leaving them behind, when making this choice to move to New York. If anything were to make me stay in California, it would be them. When I got hit by the car, I started thinking very differently. I started thinking about what would benefit me, and in return benefit them. Staying behind would be nice, so I can continue to watch them grow. But what good is that going to do, if my boys can't see me in the element I am born to be in. They are going to grow up and continue to grow, and they will grow into themselves. I won't be setting a good example for them, if I stay in a place where I can't grow into myself. I want my boys to see that there is a place for them in this world. Anything that they want to do, anything that they want to become, it is possible. They have seen me struggle, from my eye, to my personal demons, to the aftermath of the speeding lights that almost killed Uncle DD. They are so young, but they have this glimpse into who I am. They have yet to have a glimpse into who I can be. I want them to have that chance to see me in a way that they have never seen me. I want them to see Uncle DD out in the world, following his heart. I want to show them, that when the time comes, it is okay to leave. There is more to life than the towns and city we are born into. Tyson always used to point to the globe I had in my room, he would ask me, Uncle DD, where are we in the world? What is this place in the world? I could only tell him the general knowledge about the countries and contents he asked about. I want to be able to go out into the world and physically be in these places. That way I can tell my boys about the wonders of this beautiful and complex world that we live in. My mom always taught me to dream big. My dad backed that up by encouraging me to do what I feel is right for me. I want to take those seeds planted by my parents and let them grow, so that way those trees of dreams can be climbed by nephews, so they can grow their own. I am very lucky to have the relationship and the bond that I have with my boys. This would not have happened if I didn't get sick. They would never know who I am. I mean they would, but they wouldn't know me like they do now.
To my boys, thank you for giving me the chance to be your DD. You are so young, but you have thought me so much about myself and what else I can become. I am so grateful that I got to be here and apart of your younger years. I want you to know, just because i'm moving, does not change our relationship. I will always be your Uncle DD. No matter where I am in this world, if you need me, i'm one phone call away and on the next flight back to you. I cherish everything that I've gotten to do with you for the last 8 years. 8 with my Tyson and 5 with my JJ. I'm going to miss picking you up at school, watching movies with you, going to every restaurant and have you repeatedly say "HE'S VEGAN", our rides down the slides, drawing and writing with you, carrying you, getting the house ready for fun sleepovers, all the questions that you have... Every little thing, I will always cherish for the rest of my life. I hope you will too. I pray that I do the best job that I can, to continue setting the example I want to set for you. I want so badly for you to see me in the world. That way you can one day say, if Uncle DD can do it, then I can do it too. Continue to keep your wide eyes open and ask all the questions that come to mind. Learn and be willing to learn. Take care of your mama and always treat her like a queen. Take care of Yaya and Papa, and always thank them for going above and beyond for our family. Lastly, take care of each other. Protect and support each other. Brotherhood is so important. Never forget how lucky you are to have your brother as your best friend. Thank you my boys, for always telling me, it's gonna be alright, Uncle DD. Thank you for holding my hand and guiding me when I couldn't even see. I hate that you had to see me that way, but I will forever be grateful for those moments, because you helped me make it out alive. If it ever gets too hard, remember you can do anything, no matter the circumstances. Don’t ever go down without a fight. I am so honored to be your Uncle DD and to have helped raise you a little. I'm gonna make you boys proud. Remember everything I have said.
I love you so much. Always and forever, your one and only, Uncle DD.
Photographer: Courtney Johnson
What I'm Wearing: Shirt - Vintage Find, Pants - Uniqlo, Shoes - Nike
Every post I will include the song that inspired me to build a post around it's title
Stories From My Life - CHAPTER 16: THE FINAL PAGES
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Stories From My Life
(APRIL 17- PRESENT)