After my good friend Michael K. Watts and I had the chance to catch up at my favorite watering hole Houston’s (www.hillstone.com/). With much of what Michael has been managing in his life, it was necessary that we chat and he get the opportunity to bounce some of it off of me. From the death of his grandmother to the death of a best friend’s mother and a number of other interestingly-timed losses, Michael has been a difference to everyone. Though this was a belated birthday dinner (from Michael to me), I hope my pair of listening ears were a gift to him.

In addition to the aforementioned losses that Michael has been dealing with, I also got word that another colleague lost her mother unexpectedly. I sent some words of sympathy and encouragement to her. Perhaps it can support some of you out there who may be dealing with the same. I understand the shocking loss of a mother all too well. Been in the club for 13 years, 4 months, 24 days, and counting. And truly, it's been a time without her... and still. Just recently, my loving father, whose mom (my grandmother) lived to be 95, said to me - as he was reflecting on my age (As you know, I just had a birthday) and how "his baby" (me) is "37!!!!!" As he was lightheartedly wrapping his brain around that fact, he said "... and do you know MY MOTHER lived to be 94 and saw her baby boy (dad's younger brother) turn 64!!!! Isn't that a blessing?????" Surely, on its own merit, that is a blessing. A beautiful thing, even! But my Dad (who had his mom until she was 95 and he was in his late '60s) didn't get my extra-sensitivity around that statement as I was 23 and my mom was 54 when she died. Dad didn't mean anything nefarious by it, but on the face of it, it didn't make me feel so great as I have always felt a bit MARKED for having lost my mother so young... and yet I know that there is no "good" age or time to lose a loved one - especially a mother. With that, I shared with my colleague the following entry I submitted in 2002 for a collection on "Aunts" (and subsequently included in my BLOG last year). It tells the story of losing my mom... and the sister she left behind. My hope is it lands for my friend sooner than later that she is not alone... and I (and I'm sure a number of others... regrettably) get it too:


Also, as many of you know, I too lost a partner Kodjoe in March 2005. Like losing my mom, it was devastating. But at this point in my life, I made some different choices inside of my grief - including keeping certain commitments that were a stand for Kodjoe's legacy. That included an intimate evening of song I was scheduled to perform before he shockingly passed away via a heart attack (Singing is a sidelight for me). With that, I - a few days after his funeral - went about performing a sold-out show (chock full of family and friend support) at "The Duplex" in the Village in Manhattan. It was rough as I lost just about all of my rehearsal time inside the preps for funeral, etc. The night of the little cabaret, my rhythm section (along with - I'm sure - Kodjoe) carried me to have it not be a "perfect" performance, but just what it was supposed to be. It was the beginning of my healing and - not even when I was looking - love found me again (on the opening night of "Color Purple") via my Anthony with whom I'm celebrating two years of a committed relationship. So, light does show up out of darkness - even when we can't see it. With that, I offered my friend a copy of that special evening of song, which I share here with you now:

I performed "A Song For You" (prelude)... Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much"... Elton John's "Something About the Way You Look Tonight"... BLUES MEDLEY featuring "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues"; "Good Morning Heartache", and "I Can't Make You Love Me"... my tribute to KODJOE: "A Song For You"/"Wind Beneath My Wings"... and "SMILE" (one of Kodjoe's favorites).

ONE MORE THING THAT COMFORTED ME DURING THAT TIME (cut and paste below). It was Yolanda Adams’ “Fragile Heart”:


Yolanda Adams – “Fragile Heart”

Verse 1:

I remember the first timeYou laughed with me

I remember the promisesYou would never leave my side

Now I'm standin' with news of a tragedy

Standin' here with a fragile heart

See I never shed a tear. Stayed strong for them.

When everybody disappears, it's only you that keeps me strong

I can't imagine goin' on Without you in my life

Goin' on with a fragile heart


When I think about, think about life Lord I think of you

I forget about everything else

There's only you and I can't think about ever giving up

Ever giving up the fight

The only thing that matters lord is you

Verse 2:

I ain't got no time to pretend That I'm not missin' you

I know you're in good hands

The same hands that hold my heart

And I'll cherish every moment that we've spent

As a gift from God above'cause he takes care of all fragile hearts

Chorus 2:

When I think about, think about life

Lord I think of you

I forget about everything else

There's only you and I can't think about ever givin' up

Ever givin' up the fight

The only thing that matters When I'm goin' thru

I'm giving my fragile heart right back to you


You see my fragile heart's been broken

And you're the only one Who can put it all together again

So I'm trusting you lord to see me thru(vamp out)

Best and Love,



Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 02:29PM by Registered CommenterTHE LIFE OF RILEY in | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

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    A Day In "The Life Of Riley" - Blog - "SILENT NIGHT"

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