During my vacation with my family I realized how long I'd truly stayed away. Being gone for five years showed me how much things can and have truly changed.
There were new buildings and residences erected, some were knocked down or condemned. Many people lost their homes due to the economy. Sometimes the more things stay the same... the more they change.
There were new editions to my family, new cousins, nieces and marriages. It was fun meeting my new relatives.
I was excited to see my family and friends and to revisit the places I grew up in Boston - schools, parks, malls, etc.
I missed several friends due to time constraints :-( I wish I could have fit them all in. I'd love to see them which means I'll have to plan another trip real soon. :-)
While away this past week basking in the glow of my family's love, I heard about two great entertainers that passed away.
First I heard about Bernie Mack. I'd like to take a moment to rewind and say how much I enjoyed Bernie Mack as an entertainer.
I first heard of him on Def Comedy Jam on HBO. The first time he said, "I ain't scared of you muthaf***ers!" That was it. I was like, "This dude is CRAZY!!" and I loved it.
I enjoyed his comedy for years to come including his performance alongside Steve Harvey, Cedric The Entertainer and D.L. Hughley on The Kings of Comedy.
But as a parent, I could truly appreciate some of the scenarios from The Bernie Mack Show, as his character dealt with parenthood while raising his sister's children.
When he ever said he'd beat them kids "to the white meat" I was in shock that he'd said that on TV, but fell out laughing and clapping because Lord knows sometimes that is exactly how I feel. But thank Goodness I've never had to go there... 'cause y'all would have to come bail a sista out. ;-)
A couple of years ago, I'd heard Bernie Mack suffered from a condition called sarcoidosis, but that he was in remission and was doing fine.
Bernie died from pneumonia complications on Saturday, at the age of 50. Although I did not know him personally, I do think that sometimes entertainers can touch their fans. Therefore, I'd like to thank Bernie for all the laughs and the smiles. He will be missed.
Upon my arrival today, I heard that Isaac Hayes has passed away at the age of 65. Hayes could have easily been the topic of one of our infamous OSF posts as an old school music great.
Isaac was found unconscious near a treadmill at his home and was rushed to the hospital. In the past, he'd been treated for numerous health issues and his family believes he died of natural causes. Currently, there are no plans for an autopsy.
While Isaac's music was played in my home as a child, I didn't follow him as an entertainer as much as I did Bernie Mack.
Still, I feel for his family and friends who have lost a son, father, uncle, cousin, friend, etc... it's never easy to lose someone you love.
That said, I'd like to remind everyone to reach out and touch your loved ones and let them know you acknowledge them. If you have differences between you and a loved one, make up first!
Don't wait until their light has faded to be moved. Put your pride and/or shame aside and move forward not backward.
I thank God my family and I made the trip safely to and from Boston and I stopped to thank Him each and every time we got into our vehicle.
As I watched people break down, run out of gas, get into fender benders and one guy's windshield broke into a thousand pieces (probably from a falling rock or something), I could only say a silent prayer that God kept our vehicle in the palm of his hand and delivered us safe and sound to each destination.