This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read it..........to aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

11 Years of...Living On:::Ode to a Fallen Great Tree

Two weeks before today, 11 years ago, my mind pondered for a minute what it'd be like to live without one parent or both. I remember I was staring out the window when the weird feeling crept over me. I couldn't imagine it for the life of me...I immediately shook the feeling off and continued on my day. What happened two weeks after that creepy thought forever grounded my belief in the power of intuition...something I never take for granted these days. Around that same time, a family friend had a dream that a giant tree fell. A giant tree did fall. His name was dad.

Sometimes, it crosses my mind what my life would've been if I hadn't lost him...would it have been any different than it is today? Maybe. Maybe not. August 29, 2002 changed my life but I couldn't tell you how much different I'd have been as a person, if I tried. I mean, 11 years, how much I've grown from a little girl to a woman.... See the thing about losing a loved one is that even after the world moves on, you never completely do. Long after their lives become a memory to the world, their spirit never leaves your heart. As the years go by, to his friends he'd be Victor the good friend, to his acquaintances- the peaceful engineer, author and publisher, to his colleagues-he'd be Victor, the hardworking intelligent Fourth Dimension Managing Director, to my mother-her life's love, mentor, business partner, husband and lover.

But to me, he'd always be "dad"...
security
stability
sanity
love
values
work ethic
confidence
intelligence
focus
motivation

...I could could go on and on. Words can't express the weight of WHO he is to me. He gave me so much in the 14 years I spent with him, but He has even given me more in memory because now I'm old enough to appreciate the moments I spent with him. Everything I am today, he, alongside mom, inspired me to be. As an 8 year old, he put me up to the task of creating his library...During school breaks, I indexed, coded and arranged all his and mom's books "librarian style", decimal codes and all, in a book and was responsible for checking out books from the Library. It was in that moment, I fell in love with words, reading and writing and my hunger for education was born. In hindsight, maybe he was setting me up to be a lawyer, right? Today, that library which we call "the study" still stands and every time I walk in there I am reminded of the memories that were created in that room...memories which became life foundations for me. It was in that room that I'd walk in to say good night and see both he and mom, side by side, on their laptops doing work. They were more than husband and wife...they were partners who did everything together. Then there was when I was 12 and came home excited to have been ranked second in my class, he congratulated me, then asked me if the person who came first had two heads...haha! In that, he taught me to never settle for second best...in anything! The things they taught me about partnership in marriage and life/work ethics, I couldn't 'un-teach' myself if I tried. The stories are plenty....But if you have an inkling the impact a good father has on his daughter's life, you can imagine what he continues to mean to me.

I could tell you what happened again and I could tell you how loosing my dad changed my life and catapulted my motivation. But I'd rather tell you about the many more moments I wish I'd spent with him, the many questions I wish I'd asked, the "thank you" I should've said more often and the "I love you" I should've said that morning before leaving for French class. I would tell you I feel bad but I don't because I have come to terms to the burning purpose the events of August 29, 2002 played to my life's course. What I do feel each and every time I think of him is a boiling need to savor each moment I live and each loved one...to put I love you before every request and an encouraging word before a harmful one. To realize that each moment is precious...Even as I pen this, and you read this, this moment is the youngest we'd ever be....

Joan Clifton Costner must have been feeling what I'm feeling when she wrote A Good Man.

When a good man dies a thousand lights go out,
And it’s said a giant library is lost -
Oh, I’ve tried to make comparisons and wise clich├ęs
To estimate, in part, a good man’s loss;
For I know the way it feels to have your heart bend low-
And I understand how dark the nights can be....
But a good man has a heritage beyond the grave,
And we would be so foolish not to see
That a good man leaves a light his children follow-
No groping through some wilderness or maze-
And howe’er their lives, it shines on in a brilliance
That they can see ’til ending of their days’
And his words come ringing, deep, in vibrant stereo
Within the keen recesses of their minds...
There’s guidance there enough to get to Heaven
Where once again their hearts and arms entwine.
I’m so sorry for your loss here on the earth below-
But I’m proud to say “a good man” went away...
And you’ll see him soon - it won’t be long - just follow
The lights a good man left upon the way...
Just in February, I was at a party with a few family and friends. I'd just eaten a bit and had my first glass of wine...all in preparations for what was supposed to be a memorable night of fun. It was a memorable night ofcourse but definitely fun. The photographer, who a moment earlier had been capturing 'memorable' moments, had a heart attack and right in front of his wife, took his last breath.

So today, as I commemorate 11 years of celebrating the life of the man I called "dad" and the prodigy who remains my inspirational muse, Chief Engr. Victor Nwankwo, I hope you are inspired to value the moments that you breathe. That you make that phone call, pay that visit, and/or give that hug...tell your parents you love and appreciate them and all they've done to contribute to your life's journey.  It is my prayer for you who has a good parent, because you are privileged enough to have that, that you let them teach you more while they're here so that when they're gone, you'd have even more good memories to live on.

As for me, today I'd be sending a telegram to heaven. It'd say "Continue to rest peacefully Dad. Today and as each of the 4,017.66 days that have gone by since that fateful day, I remember you. I miss you. I love you.  My heart is filled with appreciation for the life you lived and your memory will always be lit in my heart."

Stay Inspired...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Red Carpet Fashion: 2013 MTV Video Music Awards

Tonight, the 30th annual MTV Video Music Awards held at the Barclays center in Brooklyn, New York. As you'd know, the red carpet is my favorite part of any award show. There's the wild and there's the wonderful. Oogle with me :-) 
 Selena Gomez in Atelia Versace
 Taylor Swift in Herve Leger by Max Azria
 Rita Ora in Alexander Vathiere Couture
 Ciara in Givenchy
 Ellie Goulding in Brian Atwood
 Miley Cyrus in Dolce & Gabana
 Katy Perry in Emanuel Ungaro
 Naya Rivera
 Robin Thicke
 Willow and Jaden Smith
 Joan Smalls
 Iggy Azalea in Emilio Pucci
 Chanel Iman
 Rihanna
 Lil Kim
 Jennifer Hudson
 Allison Williams
 Adam Lambert
 Jilian Rose Reed
 Ashanti
 Drake
 Wiz Khalifa
 Robin Thicke and Paula Patton

 2 Chainz
 Holland Roden by Naaem Khan
 Alicia Quarles
 Ariana Grande
R
 Rocsi Diaz in Pia Pauro
 Chili
 Busta Rhymes
 Danity Kane
 Kendrick Lamar
 JWoww
 Miley Cyrus (again)
Sarah Hyland in Marchesa
 Diem Brown
 Ryan Lewis and Macklemore
Snooki
 Melissa Gorga
Fifth Harmony
 Tanisha Long
Desi Lydic

Who's your fave?

Stay Inspired.....

Photo Source- The Huffington Post

Monday, August 19, 2013

Candlelight for Lee Thompson Young

I was in the middle of my work day when my sister Oby sent me a message saying "Did you hear about Lee Thompson Young?" I responded "No what about him?" Her response was very much unexpected. In fact, I didn't believe her. She said, "He committed suicide this morning". I said, "Oby today isn't April 1st". She said, "As soon as I heard it, I thought about you because that's your boo. Google it".

It was true.

Today, my only childhood celebrity crush committed suicide. And many, including myself, can't fathom why a 29 year old would take their own life. Maybe it was depression. Maybe it was substance abuse. Who knows? Possibly, no one except him.
 If you watched Disney as a child, you'd remember the show "The Famous Jett Jackson", the show that earned Lee his stardom and enchanted teenage girls, like me, in the process. I was only 13 when I first fell in "TV Love" with him. He was not only physically beautiful, (boy, was he gorgeous), there was something about him. He seemed...in a simple term, graceful.

Recently, I got addicted to the TNT show Rizzoli & Isles where he played detective Frost, just because of him. Before that, he also appeared on Smallville, Scrubs, Flashforward and Friday Night Lights.
His manager said in a statement today, "It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning...Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time."
Its shocking. But it just goes to show we never really know what anyone is going through. There's no word as to whether he left a note or not. I wish he did...even I, who didn't know him personally, feel like I need some kind of closure.  I can't even fathom what those who did are feeling. My prayers go out to his family, friends and all those who mourn this incredible star.
Rest in Peace Lee...

Full story here.