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superman_iconI have always been accused of having my father’s stubborn discipline and my mother’s relentless heart. I suppose, for a man, that can make for a dangerous combination. I grew up watching my mother do so much for others when we had so much less. Less money. Less education. Less opportunity. And yet I cannot think of a single moment in my life when she was not a blessing to someone. So for me to have been born blessed with so many gifts and abilities, I have taken to heart the scripture “to whom much is given, much is required”- because if my mother could do what she did for so many with so little, then I felt like I could do even more. Most people don’t get to work the job they want. They take the job necessary to survive.

I am blessed to do everything that I love so I have always held myself to a higher standard- giving whatever I can even if I have to work harder to make up for it later. I remember many years ago a friend of someone I was dating saying to her as I was running out the door “does he ever take that ‘S’ off of his chest?” and I recall her laughing and saying”I can’t ask him to be less than who he is… his mama is the same way.”

This weekend I had to give myself the same lecture I have given to more people than I can count, including what I used to hear people having to tell my mother- hell even I screamed at her one time about it saying “You can’t be no good to nobody else if you don’t take care of yourself” after those times that she would call me sick as a dog and exhausted needing me to go somewhere to help someone because she just was too weak to go. But I would always go. Even though everybody else would be mad at her for letting it get that bad, she knew I understood. I knew that if I didn’t go, she would not only be sick, but worried sick over what she couldn’t finish.

I’m not a worrier. The difference is, as a man, I am more likely to try to push myself through it. But fortunately for me, in the absence of someone in my life, God has given me all of you. In your own unique and special ways, there is not a day that goes by that one of you isn’t on my case about taking care of myself. And for those who spoke to me personally this week, I wasn’t given much of a choice but to go to the hospital when you heard something different in my voice and ganged up on me and made me go and kept up with me until I came home.

I finally had to say go home but not without a very heartfelt thanks. For the longest time, I never saw the joke about wearing that ‘S’ as me being some kind of superman. That ‘S’ has always represented ‘solitude’ to me because it has never been easy doing what I do and having people close to me who really cared to understand without always looking for ways to use me. But whether you were here with me this weekend or here in spirit through your prayers and well wishes, thank you for being a part of my extended family. -NEO BLAQNESS