I would like to thank God for the abundance of blessings in my life. I am ever so grateful for His grace and mercy.
All good things come to those who wait. I can’t believe that in 2011 I published my first novel. I was biting my nails, anxiously awaiting feedback on my first book, and how I prayed that at least one person would like it. For some reason I thought that those feelings of nervousness would leave with the following books. Guess what-----NOT!!! They’re still here. I know that it makes me humble and drives me to write stories that you will enjoy. To my avid readers, it’s your love and support that keeps my writing.
To my mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins…thanks for nurturing me and making me believe that anything in this world is attainable. To all of my extended family members and true friends I thank you for being there and loving me despite my frequent absences from gathering, socials, parties and other events. We are bound together with cords that cannot be broken!
Until next time, I am going to keep writing and working….
With Love to
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Photographer: Larry Jericho for
Osirus Photography, LLC (FB: osirusphotography, LLC; Twitter: osiruspics
12/23/2013 – The day that I wrote the last six chapters of this book I found out that a fellow
Alcornite and friend of mine transitioned. In memory of you Terrance Taylor a.k.a. “Psixnine” I dedicate this to you.
In the Cove family, we were thought that:
It is important that each member of my family feel that they are loved, that they belong and that they matter.
Creating a strong family unit is great but each person should be allowed the space and freedom to explore the activities they think they may enjoy. Coming together for special occasions and holidays and just spending time together as a family is what helps build that sense of belonging.
I’m all for order
in my family to help maintain some level of sanity. But too much structure and the unwillingness to give a little can result in a lot of unhappiness and resentment.
This is a bit more difficult to define. For my family, to respect each other is to take feelings, thoughts, needs, and preferences in to account when making decisions. It also means acknowledging and valuing everyone’s thoughts, feelings and contributions to the family as a whole.
This is the foundation of any relationships that are meant to last.
Husband-wife, Mother-son, sister-brother. Without honesty a deeper connection will not form and certainly won’t last.
Forgiving people who have wronged you is an important choice to make. Yes, forgiveness is a choice. It is not some feeling that randomly washes over you when you feel the other person has “suffered” enough.
Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, we all occasionally say things we wish we hadn’t and none of us are perfect.
Giving without thinking “what’s in it for me” is an important value for anyone wanting to be a responsible, contributing member to society. Through generosity we build empathy since we tend to think more about what people want or need.
Children have a natural curiosity. If you’ve ever watched a toddler even for a couple of minutes you’d see that quality shine through. For some that curiosity wanes.
How do we spark our curiosity? Ask questions. Lots of them.
A failure to communicate will likely lead to unhappiness and misunderstandings. Small issues grow into larger ones and when they eventually boil to the surface it’s unlikely they will be resolved calmly.
Responsibility is something that is learned. As a child you may have been shown how to put your toys away after playing, how to tidy your room or how and when to feed the dog. This sense of responsibility extends well into adulthood. Setting out individual responsibilities for family members works to instill this quality in everyone.
I think traditions are what make a family
unique, they draw people together and create a sense of belonging for everyone. It can be something as simple as a lazy Saturday morning sipping coffee and chatting or an annual fondue dinner to ring in the New Year
My problem with family is like playing basketball. As much as I try I can never get the ball in the goal. Sometim
es, when I shoot, the ball sits on the rim, blows me an air kiss, and flops off the side. Other shots crashed against the backboard, haywire satellites, straight out of orbit. Then there were the ones that missed the basket, the backboard, the fence behind the backboard, the two-story barn behind the fence – everything. Air balls, in fact, are my specialty.
My siblings and I were reared by our paternal grandparents. The gray clouds in my life were too much that I care to remember. The more I tried to gain my grandparents approval the more I seemed to mess things up. My older sister, Madison, always took care of me. Every time I shot an air ball she was there to catch the rebound. My baby brother, Landon, stayed on the sideline and just watched. My mother died a few months after Landon was born. My father was in the military and always abroad.
After graduating from college, I decided to move from Waynesboro, Mississippi to Seattle, Washington. I remember at my graduation dinner my grandmother pulled me to the side and told me I was making yet another mistake in my life. I stood my ground and told her that I was doing this for me. I needed to be happy for once in my life since everything I did brought shame to the Cove Family. She quickly took a plaque from her bedroom wall and placed it in my lap. I looked down at the plaque and quickly read it.
Lord, we thank you for our family
For the talents and good things that you have given each of us
Please guide us, protect us and equip us
This day and every day
As we grow together in
It was a prayer that she would have us recite what seemed like every day. Suddenly I was broken from my trance by the ringing of my cellular phone.
Dwight, how are you?
I am good. What’s wrong? Sounds like you have been crying.
We are at
Cove Ranch. They are not looking for Grandfather Jefferson to make it.
Are you serious?
Yes. He suffered a massive heart attack a few days ago. Once he was able to talk again he told us that he did not want to die in the hospital so Grandmother Ella signed him out.
I will be home tomorrow.
Okay. I will let everyone know. Have a safe flight.
I love you.
I love you more.
I panned the city
skyline from the view in my apartment. I could not believe that my grandfather was about to die. I know that he has lived a full life but to be without him would be something different. My grandfather was a regal man. He stood 6’3” and very stout. He was what they used to call a “cutter” in his younger years. He did not complete high school because he had to help on the family farm. Growing up he knew that he didn’t want to farm his whole life. At the age of twenty-two he bought six acres of land. One day an oil company was tracking minerals underground and the line was to run across his property. Once they agreed to drill they found oil.
Grandfather Davis made his money from his wells and has provided a great life for our family. He brought a 200 acre
property in 1950 when he made his first million dollars. The "Mansion" at Cove Ranch is actually a 4,769 square feet house with a 957 square feet enclosed garage that was turned into a den/card room.
I walked into the bedroom of my apartment and began to pull clothes from my closet. As I was throwing articles of clot
hing on my bed I decided to go online to make my flight arrangements. I walked into the kitchen and poured a glass of wine as I waited on the prices to upload. In one swallow the wine was done.
I poured another glass and after two big gulps it was gone. My patience was wearing thin waiting for it to upload. I placed the web tablet on the counter and thought to myself,
“Why are you beating yourself up over your grandfather dying. You never made him happy. Nothing you did was good enough.”
I quickly placed the bottle of wine back and reached over to get the brandy.
(a voice from behind)
Why are you drinking this late at night?
Why aren’t you sleeping?
I could not sleep with all the bumping you were doing. Why do you have clothes all over the room?
I have got to fly home. My grandfather is dying.
Oh no. Are you okay?
At first I wasn’t but I am fine now.
Do you want me to go with you?
No! No…I mean I will go down and be back before you can miss me.
When will I finally get to meet your family?
You will meet them in time.
My family is not as open minded as yours.
That doesn’t matter.
Look my grandfather is dying, right now would not be the time to…
…to tell them that you are gay and living with your lover. We have been together two years. Not once have you invited me to Mississippi. I would love to meet your family and to eat some real southern food.
Well if it’s southern food that you want I will cook you a big Southern Sunday dinner when I get back.
Okay smart ass. I am serious.
I am too. Make the menu out and whatever you want I will cook it.
You know that I can’t stand you sometimes.
I walked over to Brian and rubbed his face. I kissed him gently on his lips before I took a sip of my brandy. Brian looked me in my eyes and smiled.
It will be okay. Look if you need anything just call me.
I can manage. If “you” need anything you call me.
As I was walking over to the car rental to get a vehicle I thought that driving from Meridian to Waynesboro would give me more time to think.