This was designed for the "Soulful Interludes Cabaret" function sponsored by the Community Council of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc. (CCMA) on Saturday, November 17th, 7:30 pm at the AKA (Kappa Omega Foundation Center), Stone Road, Atlanta, Georgia.
Her design inspiration was music, more specifically the piano.
I absolutely love fall. I look forward to it annually...love the
feel, the taste, the smell of fall. I miss it when it leaves and long for its
return during the other three seasons of the year. Fall carries great comfort
and happiness but also a tremendous sadness as well for me. Fall was Chez's
favorite season too. It was a time when we'd all huddle in close for our
family get togethers, warm conversation, food, laughter and hours of crazy
karaoke where we pondered endlessly over "How did you get here...Nobody's
suppose to be here?" Those days are long gone..never to be the same again.
I reflect back on my sister, our relationship, conversations, differences
and similarities quite often. I think back on those last conversations...the "I
love yous" early in the morning on my way to work and the last "good-bye" when
she looked directly at me, after not having spoken a word during that last visit,
and responded with the same when I said 'bye". Oh, how I miss her. I was
watching television yesterday, and they were interviewing a woman who's won
millions in the lotto. She said she'd trade it all in to have her son back who
she'd lost recently. I completely understand..what I wouldn't give to have Chez
back or my Father back. There so much I'd like to share with them, so many
things that they have missed. Death is real. I thought by now the pain
would be gone but I wonder if the pain ever goes away. I don't think so.
Fall is a constant reminder.
So here we are again fall....me and you on the daybefore her birthday.
Who she was made me a better me as the annoying little
sister who was always trying to follow in her footsteps or encouraging me to
make my own bigger and better footsteps.
She wanted to be the teacher...not me.... but look at me now.
Later in life she became my muse. If I needed a model for my crazy art projects, she was always there. She never questioned my creativity or ideas..she just participated. She was there
for Austin's birth fresh out of chemo treatment, she was there for my first home
purchase as newly divorced single-parent, my marriage to Chris, graduations.....everything she could muster up the energy to participate in. She was there. During my graduation, she practically walked acrossed the stage with me and noone, noone said a word to her about it.:)
Where is she now?
Maybe instead of reflecting on what's been lost, I should think
about what was gained. I've seen strength ,faith and determination like I've
never witnessed it before. I see her in my beautiful nieces. As my oldest niece posed for me for my latest greatest idea, I thought about how she's doing exactly what her mother did.
She didn't protest or question me, she just did exactly as Auntie Iia had
asked...no reservations. I hear Chez's voice and see her face in my dreams. My art has developed more direction and purpose because of her. Her chest caving hug has shown up from the most unsuspecting person, her eyes have appeared on the face of one of my sweetest students, her laugh is heard during our family gatherings and her walk and style of dress can be witnessed daily through one of my administrators. That wrinkle she had in her forehead when she was in deep thought, has shown up on my own daughter's face. Hearing one of our songs, we had many, reminds me of her when I'm riding along in my car.
I've gained purpose, directon and a boatload of life enriching experiences. I understand that a love one leaves you physically but not spiritually. I also understand that our days are fleeting and deserving of making the most and best of each second.
Where is she now?
She's with me every single day of my life..in my
memories. I'm so grateful for the time we had together. I'm grateful for those memories...the good and the bad of them.
Happy Birthday Chez, I will always love you! You splattered my life with hope, faith and love.
Chez Owens Chapman
(November 5, 1962-Febraury 5, 2006)
She would've been 50.
I do what I love and love what I do.