Lately, the idea of change has been heavy on my mind. My family and I lost an esteemed loved one who was the glue that somehow held our flock together. I tried to draft a blog post on my feelings early on but each attempt cascaded into a reminder of the sheer shock and pain. I vowed to get all the crying out the way before ever disclosing my true thoughts. I tried to console my family in the best way possible but, with such a devastating loss, it’s evident that only time can heal the wounds.
My uncle’s wisdom and kindness was contagious. His smile could light up an entire room. But, his loving spirit was infinitely unmatched. Of course, we’ve struggled to cope with our loss; however, the legacy my uncle left behind is one that is built on a solid and faithful foundation.
The transition of my Uncle Junior has allowed me to put a few things into perspective. Number one: Life is too short to live out your goals in a box. My Uncle Junior was full of life and positivity radiated from his entire aura. There never was a time where he steered me wrong. At every instance we made contact, he always encouraged me to be the best young woman that I could possibly be. Whether that meant getting that Master’s or taking that New York Fashion Week trip, he urged me to live fearlessly and without apologies.
My uncle also taught me to love hard. Growing up, it was evident that my momma and my Uncle Junior housed their personal differences deep within their tumultuous relationship. I can recall on numerous occasions where my momma would remove, both my sister and I, from even communicating my Uncle Junior’s family. This went on for quite a while; however, in spite of their contrasting beliefs and opinions, this sisterly/brotherly conflict stemmed from unconditional love. My momma loved her oldest brother with no limitations. And, my Uncle Junior did the same for his kid sister. They eventually learned to put their differences to the side and moved forward in being that solid support system. Their lifelong bond and close upbringing was a testament of what it meant to love like your life depended on it.
Uncle Junior’s legacy also taught me to be the change you wish to see in the world! Throughout his funeral, I listened to close companions and friends speak about how selfless and giving Uncle Junior was. From heading the Feed the Hungry ministry to extending a helping hand to the North Houston community, his life was a blessing to others in ways unimaginable. Uncle Junior fought to help those in need, even if it meant sacrificing his own idea of “comfort”. Uncle Junior was always willing to lend his heart and his spirit to dedicate towards the betterment of the world. He was a pioneer. He was a Christian. He was a legend.
Uncle Junior was a pillar of strength in the lives of everyone he came in contact with and, with having the privilege of knowing him all 28 years of my life, I can say that his journey has influenced my own. I grew up without a father; therefore, my uncles were the male figures who helped to mold me from childhood. One thing my Uncle Junior always expressed to me was to be happy. He urged me to live life for me. And, he taught me what it meant to be a visionary. His laughter, his love and his sweet spirit will forever be etched within the Campbell family.
We love you, Uncle Junior. You may be gone from our presence, but your footprints continue on within your legacy.
Rest in power.