The Year Of The Kobe Will Be A Test For Everyone (Corny Title, I Know…)

Sorry for the wack title but I have a penchant for associating my birthdays with athletes. I thought about taking a year off considering the seriousness of the earthquake but I decided that we could use a little bit of cheering up now. So since I turned 24 today I’m gonna go with Kobe Bryant (Duh, who else is better @ 24?)

I want to thank you guys for the sending me birthday wishes today. I’ve been a mess since the earthquake hit as I’ve worried about my and my friends’ families. Some of my buddies haven’t heard from their relatives or confirmed losses already. Hearing about each loss and/or struggle for contact has taken a toll on many including myself. This morning I woke up and had a moment to contemplate a life without my loved ones. It was a harsh vision that could’ve been a reality as it is for so many people so far. It’s a hard feeling to describe and bear. So with that in mind I continue to feel for anyone who lost their lives, loved ones, property and pretty much anything due to this disaster.

But, for whatever reason, I literally had a feeling in my heart that my Grandmother, three Aunts and my Uncle were somewhere safe. It was a feeling unlike anything else I experienced before and it felt promising. So I said a prayer to myself, stepped out of the house and went about my business for the day.

When I came back I got some good news from my cousins. My aunts, uncle and grandmother are all alive and staying at a church in Gressier: about 10 miles away from Port au Prince. Unfortunately my grandmother’s new house is destroyed. Many years were spent building it and it was quite a site to behold (I saw it on Auntie Solange’s DVD.) It’s disheartening to lose something you anticipated for so long but knowing that my relatives are alright for the most part, to me, takes precedent over it.

Still I was elated by this update. I jumped up in the air a couple of times, danced around the house and did some other embarrassing things. Thankfully none of yall saw it because was pretty bad. But in all seriousness I was so overjoyed I couldn’t contain myself.

I don’t mean to rub this news in the face of others suffering as that is not my intention. However I just wanted to say that knowing that my folks are fine is what I really wanted for my Birthday and I’m extremely happy that God answered my prayers. I’m not counting my chicks before they hatch as they still have to find a way to get back to the US. But at least I can find peace in knowing that my family is in good shape at the moment.

But despite my enthusiasm over my situation i’m constantly brought down to reality by the issue at hand. Most people affected by this earthquake are not as fortunate and I am and I’ll continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers. We have a lot of work to do in Haiti and this is only the beginning. Even though I’m not a Haitian citizen I still feel that Haiti will NEVER be the same after this event. I sound like a broken record but we have to be strong in these troubling times and find some glimmer of hope for those that lost everything dear to them. Also like I said before if you plan on assisting at any capacity please be wary of phony charities and stay safe if you plan on providing relief in person sometime in the future.

Well, I’m gonna round out my birthday by AVOIDING CNN/NEWS IN GENERAL (Anderson Cooper had me really mad yesterday but if I go on I’m afraid I’ll overstay my welcome), counting my blessings, thinking and praying for everyone suffering and/or missing family members (Patrick, Stacey and Kwezy I’m here for you!), listening to some Stevie Wonder records and just being thankful for being alive. Some may say that I’m being willfully ignorant by not tuning in but I can’t take their sensationalism right now. Besides my mom baked up something for me and my pops bought a cake so you know I’m going to tear that up!

I’ll finish with the following. My father and I just talked about how we wanted to see my Grandmother’s house in person before all this happened. I had less of a chance of going cause my Mom frowned on it (Momma knows best in this case haha) but my Dad could’ve very well been caught up in the situation. He might not have been as well off as the rest of my family in Haiti had he went so I’m glad he’s here with us. This experience is far from over but it’s taught me, as my father said, to be humble and appreciate life because it could get turned upside down at any point.

Thanks again for the birthday wishes, prayers and kind words. Take care and God bless yall.

4 Responses to “The Year Of The Kobe Will Be A Test For Everyone (Corny Title, I Know…)”

  1. 1 Julz January 14, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Great piece, Sam! Very thoughtful, considerate and introspective.

    The hardest part is not knowing and being alone with your imagination. To those who still do not know the whereabouts of their family members, try to keep your thoughts optimistic. I know how challenging that can be, as I have failed miserably with my attempts. Although you might be miles away, faith is something you can share with your loved ones in Haiti.

    Such a situation kind of brings into perspective how valuable peace of mind is to human beings.

    I appreciate greatly the international humanitarian efforts and the coverage of this devastation. It’s comforting to know that Haiti is not alone.

  2. 2 Sam C. January 15, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Thanks Julz I appreciate it. Yeah not knowing is extremely tough. I was on edge ever since Tuesday. Even though that feeling inside told me that everything was OK it was hard to let that thought prevail over all the negative media that was coming in.

    If anything I have reinvigorated my appreciation for human life as well as my faith in God over the past couple of days.

    It’s hard to be happy when so many are suffering in the process. At the same time we have to be each others support system as we reconstruct Haiti brick by brick. In the meantime peace of mind has been the best medicine for me throughout this tragedy.

  3. 3 seeo January 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Happy belated man. I cant imagine how tough it must have been not knowing if your loved ones are ok or not but good to hear that your family is safe. Got you and your family in my prayers.

  4. 4 Sam C. January 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks a lot Clayton. Yeah man it was hard and I hope no one else has to go through it. I’m still upset about the disaster for too many reasons to say right now. Anyway, I appreciate your prayers as well son. They’re deeply appreciated.

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