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Reflection of life: and then there were six

September 22, 2017

August 15, the day after my mother's birthday, my family faced the transition of my eldest brother, Joel Rice Jr., aptly called "Bubba" by most of the family. Bubba was a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend to many.  Those that knew him knew he was a no-nonsense man who had no problem speaking his mind. Bubba was an avid fisherman who loved being on the water. Today, I celebrated my 53rd birthday; however, this one was different. Since Mama's passing, usually the first one to wish me a happy birthday was Bubba. Today, that call never came.  As I reflect on the many blessings and the gratefulness for seeing another year, I reminisce about Bubba, I remember one time he hadn't been feeling well so I called to check on him. When he answered the phone, I was immediately stricken by his tone. His voice was faint and weak. Instantly, I tensed and immediately thought the worse, that his health had taken a downturn. To the contrary, Bubba explained this was the best he'd felt in a long while and that he was taking advantage by going fishing. When I inquired about his tone when answering the phone, he informed me, "I'm whispering because I don't want to scare the fish". We laughed heartily at his response and for a time I felt him as his old self. Today, the laughter is gone; yet, the memories live on with me. 


Blessed to see a new year (I recognize my birthday as the start of a New Year) there have been highs and lows over the past year; however, I'm open to the limitless possibilities of 2017-2018. I will love with the expectancy of return. I will model the behavior of how I desire others to treat me. I will take care of myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I will speak without the need for pomp and circumstance and exercise shut mouth grace when prudently necessary.    


Now, there remains six siblings: Edna, Jacob, Debra, Donna, Danny, and yours truly. Today, my prayer is that each of my siblings lives his/her life to the fullest. I love them with my full heart and pray peace, love, and an abundance of blessings over each one of them. Happy New Year!

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