The new year came as readily as I thought it would but I started my year without any resolutions or remorse for the past year. I have spent my time carefully considering the spring solstice and setting my intentions. I began my 2023 sending well wishes to my coworkers, friends, and family as occasions came up. I have been very intentional about spreading love and light to those around me and putting out positive vibes to those I hold dear. It brought some familiar thoughts to my mind. Everyone has had a loved one pass away one time or another and some others as well. The thought crossed my mind years ago when I worked at a nursing facility, after all who will remember me? I had a dear resident Miss Smith, as she gave me something she embroidered that I treasure to this day. We sat there while I helped her and she told me that all of her family had long passed on. She was an only child and did not have any family left to remember her. She had dear friends of course but that was the extent of her family. I left her apartment feeling immensely saddened by the thought of anyone leaving this world with no one to remember them. I vowed that day to not only take a mental note of such persons, but to think of them often.
This new year brought me to another feeling and that was determination. How could I be my best authentic me and also be respectful of my past acknowledgements. In 2023, my intentions have been to pay homage to the past and those who made my every day possible but also to make things possible for the future me that has yet to enter the world. We have more than 300 days of possibilities to look forward to. I look back and so much has happened in my lifetime that they are now distant memories that I recall as often as I can. I did not want to lose what is so easily being lost with each of us. Let’s consider what month it is, February. The month that we consider our history and those who came before us. The very individuals who knowingly or unknowingly made it possible for us to be here. Regardless of our African status on how we got such mixed race, we have to consider that despite having the worst conditions, our ancestors made it a reality to create us. That knowledge in itself, makes me want to be a better me and see everything that my ancestors could never dream to see or experience. I have not felt sorry for my status because I can change that. My value has never came from how much money I have, the material possessions that I owned, or what I have brought to this imaginary table. I have never and will never subscribe to such thinking to place any value on my own life.
What I have valued and will continue to honor is life itself. The individual and the relationship has been the most important value that I can ever hope to attain. I have measured the value of the authenticity, human decency, and kindness of a person to be held as paramount to any other virtue. Life is nothing without interactions with others and meaningful relationships that you build. A person could have gone their entire life without human interactions and that was a choice. A life filled with powerful relationships started from birth and transcended through death. Death has never been an ending and only validates the strength of the relationship that you formed. Genealogy has been my entire world since my adult years and I have never been as close to an ancestor as I feel towards one that I have never met. However, this ancestor is the entire reason that I keep going and I continued to do my life’s mission in honor of her. Perhaps living is the one thing that she would have wanted the most for my life. I have to believe that relationships were the foundation to any family and continue to build the strength of character no matter how distant you can become. I ask you, humble reader, who by chance stumbled upon this to take a gander. What do you want to do with the next chapter of your life and how will your relationships change or alter that plan? You are the creator and author of your tomorrow and no matter how hard that seems to be to digest, your actions today can completely change your life’s path for the future. So choose wisely and in all things choose love. Let unselfish love guide you and when in doubt take a leap. You deserve to give yourself the world.
- Cassandra Hendrix
Small Business Owner, Author & Family Historian