The month of February is significant in many ways to me. It’s Black History Month. I know most African Americans feel like it’s a slight, really I just look at it as a highlight.  Whether the “man’ designed it for us to have a month is something that they did, however, it isn’t something that we have to follow, the same thing with Valentine’s Day. We can simply use the month to highlight all the reasons why we should continue in the meaning of the holidays each day throughout the year.

I want to write about my Aunt Louise. As I recall her, I chuckle in thinking that she wasn’t a follower. She did believe in standing up for that which was right, and most of the time it was her rights because she was always right. You see she could do that or say that because she was the matriarch of the family. She was lovingly referred to by her siblings and other adults as “Big Sis.”  Her nieces and nephews knew better than to call her anything outside of Auntie, lol and of course her grands called her grandma with joy.

My Auntie could sing, and as she grew older, her soprano was flat or a pinch off at times, but she would keep on singing. However, if one of us went off key, she would call us out in a heartbeat.

She was sometimes mistakenly perceived as mean; really she wasn’t. She just didn’t have time for nonsense and never quite desired to learn how to be fake. Therefore, she gave you her authentic self. What you saw was what you got, she was the realist, lol, as the youth says.

My auntie loved me dearly, this I know. She showed me through the pots of oxtails that she cooked, or the salmon patties or oh my Lord, her sweet potato pies. The way she would hug me and sometimes whisper in my ear, no matter what, always know that I love you, you hear. It was in those moments that she reminded me of my grandma who did the same thing. True story, she was never afraid to see you and say turn around, chile, look at them hips, you sure put some weight on. All I could do is laugh because my auntie spoke her truth.

So when my cousin, (my auntie’s youngest daughter) asked me to sing at her homegoing service for the processional of the clergy and family, I was stuck. I was stuck all of five minutes because I had to really think, could I do this? Would I break down and cry? But I was reminded of those tender moments when she told me that she loved me and was proud of me that I knew I had to sing. I channeled her strength because my Auntie Lou was definitely strong. I was there with her when she beat kidney cancer. Her younger sister couldn’t be there who used to sing the song for her in church, so I was doubly honored to do so.

So, whenever I was asked how did you manage to do it, I know it was tough, I can smile knowing that I did it for the love of Lou. I am honored to write this because truth is what she spoke and it’s no wonder to me why my business is founded on that very principle; truth. Aunt Louise returned to the heavens to now have a front seat on our lives, and in those times of darkness, I can channel the strength and stand in my truth, in part I do so for the love of Lou.