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Discovering Dad…Again

Last week I had the opportunity to go on a journey of discovering my dad again. My uncle Daniel came in town from Philly for 2 days. He was my dad’s younger brother.

While my uncle was in town, we got to visit my dad’s grave on what would have have been his 72nd birthday. I heard the first hand account about the day my father died because my uncle Daniel was the one who got the call about the fatal motorcycle accident he had been in. 

It was ironic that last week during my uncle’s visit, the shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte had saturated the news.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear how much of an activist my dad was. My uncle spoke of how he would have been so active in the movement and would have fought for social and racial justice.  He said, in case you ever wondered where you get your passion from about social issues…it’s part of your DNA.  I never knew.

A mind blowing surprise is that my uncle brought me a momentous from my dad that he had kept for 43 years waiting for the right time…alone time with me to give it to me.  So this autograph book was given to my dad when left Haiti in 1969 for Chicago and many friends wrote in it and then Family wrote in it in 1972 one year after my Mom died when he was leaving Chicago for Holland to do his medical residency. When his belongings were returned after he died in 1973, this was with them.

What started off as a promise a few years ago to take me to a football game when Chicago and Philly played at Soldier Field, turned into the most in depth, impactful and moving conversation I’ve ever had about my dad from his younger brother, my uncle Daniel. 

I’ve never had anything that physically belonged to my mom or dad besides a photo album, which sadly was thrown away in a state to state move years.  I’ll forever cherish our time together and the priceless gift he saved for me all these years.  It’s amazing do discover so many new things about my dad that essentially gives me a greater understanding of who I am. 
Dad, I miss you more than ever. Rest eternally.

Giving Thanks For…


1. HEALTH

This year started off rough health wise, which was a carry over issue from last year and years ago. After much consulting and prayer, I made the decision to have the major surgery of a hysterectomy. It was a 6 week recovery but I am 100% and haven’t felt this way since 2004.  My Doctor, Dr. Scott Hite, was amazing throughout the whole journey. I see him next week for my 6 month check up.   

2. HOME

Just 2 weeks ago, I move 3 blocks away from where I was living.   I loved where I was but it was time for a change.   The new place is an upgrade for less rent. So now I am blessed to see this view every day.

3. FAMILY

I can’t say enough about family.  Had our largest family reunion on my father’s side this year.  Just about everyone was there, so there was about 60 of us. We committed to getting together every 2 years for this large reunion but on the off years smaller groups would connect. Well 5 of the 6 girls cousins I grew up with connected just this month for the first time as adults and it was so good.

  

4. FRIENDS

I’ve always been blessed to have incredible friendships in my life.  This year, I’m especially thankful for Suzzette, Terrell, Tina, Lacie and Cathy.

    

5. FOOD

Food is the ultimate gatherer of people.  No matter age, race, gender, economic status, it brings people together.  I’ve had some great memories this year around food. And today, on this Thanksgiving, I hosted dinner at my house with some amazing people.

  
 Happy Thanksgiving from my home & heart to yours!

 A Final Goodbye 

2 weeks ago today, I woke up to the dawn of a new day and a final goodbye. The day before, I had undergone major surgery…a hysterectomy.  This was of course a hard and emotional decision to come to after many other treatments had failed.  

As I layed in the hospital bed that day, I was overwhelmed with a range of emotions…

Physically – I felt a sense of emptiness. My uterus and other female organs had been removed.

Emotionally – I was dealing with the loss of what was once a dream…giving birth.

Mentally – I was fighting the thoughts of feeling less than as a woman.

I can’t say enough about the medical team that I had.  From day 1, my Dr. was a gem. 

  

I also had an incredible nurse, that really went the extra mile.

 
More than anything though, when you are going through something like this, it is family (blood or inherited) that make all the difference.  

   
  


Though, I have 4 more weeks until full physical recovery and who knows how long until the emotional recovery, I’m thankful to be healthy and to be able to fully pursue my purpose.  

I am a PHAETON

1 week ago today, I was blessed to be in Toronto for a family reunion. It specifically was a cousins reunion for my 1st cousins on my dad’s side. 12 of us grew up together, 6 boys and 6 girls that now range from ages 31-45. We spent summers and holidays together and had great memories growing up. We shared a lot of laughs last weekend, we danced, and had lots of food! We went back down memory lane watching a slide show from the summer of 86′ which was the last time we were all together. Sadly, one of the original 12, Jacky was killed 10 years ago at the age of 25. Gone too soon. We miss him dearly and it is a reminder that life is short and it’s so important to stay connected to family.

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We are ever growing, and since the original 12, 4 more were born and many now have their own children. Coming together was important so that our kids could meet their cousins and hopefully have the same bond we did growing up. Though there were 6 kids and 26 adults at this reunion, we still had 10 kids and 8 adults missing. Hopefully next time we will all be together.

We vowed to meet every 2 years with the children and every other year just the adults. When it’s all said and done, it’s all about family. The PHAETON name is a strong name of Greek origin. It’s also a name that has a long line of luxury attached to it from carriages to RVs to automobiles….now that explains a lot…LOL!

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I am proud that we represent an array of professional fields amongst the Phaeton Cousins from: dentist, doctor, lawyer, finance, marketing, advertising, meteorologist, firemen, culinary, transportation, home appraisal, IT, ministry.

I am a PHAETON. phaetonfamilytree

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