Gratitude encompasses so many things these days — these days post active substance abuse. This year has been a year of continued growth, sobriety, and loss. Loss is never easy — especially when you have loved the heart, mind, body, and soul of a person.
Three of my good friends passed on this year — passed on and over to the hereafter. First there was Robert Devell Bassett who was killed in a tragic auto accident on a Northern California Highway earlier this year. It was a shock because it was nearing the time for both of us to come together and catch up. The later years of our friendship were spent apart as we both grew on our own individual spiritual paths. Thank God for the earlier years — the years we spent together as creative friends. We were inseparable.
Next was Kulaea Tavake. We were co-workers at IKEA of East Palo Alto. She was a bright light in the IKEA Family — always helpful, always on it, and always loved. She was funny, caring, and loving. A wife, and the mother of 3 beautiful children. During my 2 year stay she and our IKEA family achieved a first for that store — we achieved a profit. It was because we all loved one another, worked hard, and made it happen for the customer. The work was physical, but what made it fun was people like Kulaea. She organized my goodbye party, and it was a night I’ll never forget. There were folks lined up wall to wall. She lost her battle to cancer earlier this year, and it was truly a blow to all of us who loved her. She will forever live in our hearts.
Lastly, Richmond Milton Brock; my friend, my sponsor, the man who took me under his wings during early sobriety and took me through the 12 steps. Days after my 2 year sobriety anniversary during 2015, he went in to surgery and never came out. Before he left he gave me a 2 year medallion, and I remember just as plain as day visiting him at his real estate business. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he was preparing for the worst post surgery. He had pictures lined up around the table — pictures of family, friends, and of himself on fishing trips, as well as, at a host of other events. The slide-show at his memorial service is when it hit me — he knew he wasn’t going to make it, and had made peace with it. To be allowed those last few minutes with him days before he passed on is something that I will never forget. He was a lion among men, and a life force that continues to inspire me.
I AM grateful for their lives
I AM one who will always miss them
I AM better for having known them