My First-Born Son, Leonard

I wanted my first child to be a boy.  Leonard was my first-born son.  He was the cutest little man there ever could be.  He made a mother out of me.  I remember as soon as he learned to talk he never shut up.  He was arrogant, spoiled, and selfish as a child.  No matter what he asked for or wanted, I gave it to him.  I met Big Kevin after the birth of Leonard.  One day I asked him to help me raise Leonard.  We raised him together.

We enrolled Leonard into Elka Day Care,  Nurseryland Day Care, and then nine years at Holy Angels Cathedral.  That boy was smart all of his life through school.  Some of his friends are still with him today.  Greg. Marion, and Carl were Leonard's best childhood friends (they grew up together) and they were his friends through the end.  His cousin Cordell was raised like a brother to Leonard.

Close to ten years old, he had a baby brother name Kevin Jr.  He did not accept Kev at first.  When Kev turned about five years old; He started saying he is my baby brother.  That relationship never changed.  I taught my boys to kiss each other from day to day.  Each would say I love you and I will see you when you get  home.  They would cuddle and sleep together a many nights as they got older. When Leonard would go to the club, Kev would sleep in his bed and wait for him to return. Leonard cherished his baby brother, Lil Kebo (Kevin Jr.).  I couldn't have asked for a better relationship.  They would argue and put me in the middle.  I always gave Leonard the edge because he was special and privileged.

This guy had some of the best friends a young man could have.  Girls or guys, both loved and trusted him.  My other sons Carl and Gregg were lifers to Leonard.  they were there to the end.  If he needed money, you gave it to him.  If you needed money....he will tell you to pay him back tomorrow morning!  The list is long to write.  Simmi and Ashley is simply wonderful.  Dorian is the one he would go off with when he did not want to be around everybody.  Fred just stole Mommy's heart when I first met him.  Jermon was his roll  buddy, shopping partner, club guy...can't replace this kind.  There wasn't a face he met that did not become his friend.  They all loved their tight ol'skool cars! Ray the barber...sometime you win and sometime you don't.  John-Jon you and Dell are my boyz to  my heart.  Leonard told me one day if anything ever happens to me, please take care and help my real friends.  Mommy, they really care about you.

Leonard loved his female friends.  They were the best.  He loved to gossip on the telephone with them.  It did not matter if they had a dude or not.  He let them know his girl came first.  His friends Jamecia, Alex, Yarmin,Courtney, Shanesha, Tracey, Rhonda, Nichell, Nisha and of course Lisa the "braider" and Wanda the "barber".   If Lisa did not braid his hair when he wanted her to braid it, there was hell to pay.  If Wanda messed up his lining, she will never hear the last of it and the whole club would know by the weekend!  All of you  ran up his Sprint telephone bill and you knew it was in his Big Kevin's name.  No matter what he did not pay...Mommy Debbie paid it all.

 I wanted him to give his life a fresh new start and get right with GOD and himself.  Two years prior to his death, he changed his life.  He applied for a job and registered for barber college before he passed.  I told him all that he needed to know about parenting.  Later, he asked me about marriage.  I told him choose your wife by ear not by looks!  Just listen to her....she will tell you who she is.  He told me a year later it was good advice and then he understood.  I encouraged him to marry his daughter's mother because he loved her.  Try to raise your daughter with her mother with you.  But first, grow up, spoil yourself, become an independent and productive young man before you assume responsibility of another's life.  I have always taught my boys character, credibility, accountability, and discipline will take you to heights of the world.  You simply go nowhere without it.

When he became a father it was a delight!  Nothing was brighter than his daughter ILIHN born on April 8Th.  He had so many wonderful times with his little girl.  I can remember them dancing to the Electric Slide in the living room.  ILIHN learned the steps and she did not let Grandma Debbie cut in.  I think about the day he kept her and she had diarrhea.  He gave her a bath and cleaned her up himself.  Oops! she did it again, Mommy.  I walked out of the door and told him you are on your own, Daddy .  I told ILIHN your daddy smells awful.  She laid on his chest and told me "Grandma, we both stink".  Her mother did not feed he pork but I did.  One day during a visit I was eating spaghetti and ILIHN asked for some.  I told her not to tell her mother I gave it to her.  As soon as her mother arrived. ILIHN told her Grandma Debbie gave me some meat.  I love that baby more than life itself.  After his death, I saw her briefly from time to time.  I drop off clothes and toys at her mother's job.  I wish we all could see her but her mother doesn't allow me to see them.  One day I will see her again when God allows her to see me.  If I don't., everybody will tell ILIHN one day about her father Leonard (Notty).  I love her mother because my son loved her and she loved my son.  I wish only the best for her.  Unfortunately, he died on his daughter's third birthday with her there with him.  At least, he did not die alone.  He was with his family.

Leonard was a blessed child.  I loved and worshiped him more than I should.  His death devastated me.  I will  not recover because it is still yesterday to me.  I can not see tomorrow.  Kev and I sit and chat, make jokes, and talk about our life with Nod G. After all, I still have Kev and eight more to love and adore.  Especially "Chip" who Notty and Kev was so very jealous of. 

His Grandma Sarah probably grieved to death over Notty.  His Grandma Ursery loved him truly.  His Grandma Clark helped raise him and spoiled him alone the way.  She hated when he would play with her arms or make her kiss him.  Notty, you probably got something!  She would yell upstairs "Notty, get that thang (girl) from upstairs right now. 

To the friends and adopted -through- love sons, I thank all of you for holding me up and seeing me through all the days I wanted give out.  Sometimes you call me and I am not talking, it is because I am crying tears thinking about you with that boy, Notty.  I can never thank all of you enough.  Today I can see all of growing older and not making the same mistakes.  For looking out for Kev, you know you've got to help me.  I can always call John-Jon or Derk and tell them to send Kev home. 

During Leonard's life he lost a cousin Demitrius and it was devastating. That is when he met the other side.  Before he left me, he told me ...I should have listened to you, Mommy.  He lost Nate (Bea) Hartman a loving friend that Notty cherished and grieved over endlessly.  His great buddy, Juan.  None of them are forgotten.  He is in Heaven surrounded by love.  God bless you all!

 

                                                    See you at the Crossroads