Friday, March 16, 2012

Letter To My Homeboys

Man fellas, 2003 seems like such a long time ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. The five of us could not be separated. We did everything together. I know we lost one along the way but he is still in our heart. A day does not go by that I don't think about D. Remember the basketball game that we made up in Lynnewood Gardens?  We played that game til the we hours of the morning! Remember that night that we watched the Best of Cheaters? We were all laughing so hard at the situations and especially when Joey got stabbed and the dude kicked him of the boat. Those were the days man and I would not take it back for nothing. All we wanted to do is have fun and didn't have that much of a care in the world. Good, clean, safe fun.

We have been holding each other down for almost 10 years man and you guys are not just friends to me, we are brothers, brothers for life. Through vacations, Verse Mega's shows, videos, parties, events, graduations, engagements, family gatherings, and all. Man, we have all ate in each others houses, met our extended families, drove each others whips, and have just been there for each other through thick and thin. As we have grown over the years, our situations have gotten much more real. We have real responsibilities, grown up lives and we are not just responsible for "us" anymore. It's real out here gentleman and I am glad our bond has gotten tighter over the years.

I just want to say thank you to all of you because you guys have help me be the best man I can be. We have been there through happiness and sadness, checked each other when we were wrong and supported each other in all our past and future endeavors.  The numbers 4 and 5 have always meant a lot to me and it will continue to be that way. Whenever in doubt throw the 4's up and the 5's up in the memory of D! Much love my brothers!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

We Have To Do Better

Okay everyone. I have to go in on this topic because it honestly hurts my heart. I went to the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) here in Philadelphia to support my mom as she is a witness to a horrible crime. My mother is a nanny and a woman tried to kidnap the child from my mom. Crazy right? Ok, well here goes my rant.

It cost so much to drive into Center City so I decided to park at a train station and ride the subway to the court house. While on the train a bunch of high school students were talking among themselves and one of the kids said that "My mom is about to kick me out the house and I have nowhere to go". His friend told him "Real talk, go out and commit a crime and go to jail. You have a place to stay, food to eat, and you don't have to pay rent". I was so shocked on what I heard. I had to just sit there and process what I just heard. Is it that bad out here people? I feel the generation behind me is in trouble if statements like that are being made. Th scary thing about this is he was dead serious. He said his cousin did commit a crime to go to jail because he had nowhere to stay. He said he robbed someone. Wow!

As I got to CJC we all went through metal detectors and proceeded to the courtroom. Other than jury duty, this is my first time being in a courtroom. I must say that it was a sight to see. I never knew you could have multiple cases being heard in one courtroom. My mom finally gets there and I walk in with her and we proceed to the front row. She had to check in with the Commonwealth letting them know she was there and they told her to sit tight, the judge is not here yet. I am looking around and I notice that lots of people are extremely dressed down. The only people dressed nice were the lawyers, my mom, the parents of the child my mom is a nanny for, and myself. As some of the defendants were dressed in white t-shirts, jeans, and timberlands. Are you serious??? Where is the respect for the courtroom?? Does anybody care about that? I am just there for moral support and I had on khakis, shirt, and a tie. I would never come to court dressed like that and I am not saying its wrong because some people just might not know. I was raised differently as when I was child, my parents made sure I was dressed appropriately for every occasion.

The last rant I have is how the defendants answered to their names being called. I would have never answered to the court clerk in the way these defendants did. The clerk clearly stated that when your name is called raise your hand and answer present. That is not what went down. All but a couple of defendants answered "Yo" when their name was called. What part of the game is this??? I was absolutely shocked as I was hearing this. If I was the judge, I would have thrown each and everyone of them out the courtroom and hold them in contempt. Where is the respect factor? I guess the judge must be so use to it that she didn't care and if that's so, this is very sad. The courtroom is not the block and should be held to a hire standard as its the court of law.

As a male in this society, I feel like I have let some of these young men down. I take it personal when our younger generation acts in this matter. I want to save more than a little but can't save them all. There has got to be a way for us to fix this. I know I was raised differently than most but if this is not stopped, it can only get worse. Am I wrong for feeling angry and hurt? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Dad, My Hero

As I think about my life, I have been so blessed with many things. I am blessed to still be here. As I look around in society, we have so many issues and so many things that's wrong and that tends to be all we focus on. All the negative gets media attention. Media tells us that fathers are not around and not taking care of their responsibilities, leaving woman to raise children by themselves. What about the fathers that do take care of their responsibilities and be fathers to their children. We never hear about that and I find it to be very odd!

I look at my dad and sometimes I get overwhelmed on how much of a great father he is to brother and myself. My dad has taught me so many things in life that I will never forget. This man has taught me how to dribble a basketball, throw a football, hit a curve ball and play the position of second base. Taught me all the things I love to this day and sometime I wonder where would I be without him. My dad kept me away from the streets that in the inner city call your name at a very young age. By him teaching me sports, I never wanted to get involved in the streets because I was too busy playing a thousand and one sports lol! I remember my dad taking us out to Temple Stadium and if your from Philly you know now that is Enon to fly kites. I remember going back to school the next day saying how excited I was about it but know one else in my class knew what a kite was or even know what fling it means. I began to realize that my dad was different from most dad's but I loved it.

My dad has been right by my side at every big moment in my life. His father was not in his life and I know in the back of his mind he was not going to let that happen to us. As I started to get older, he started to teach me about what being a man is. Although we did not have many conversations about it, he let me know by example. He let me know by his actions, how he took care of his family. He demanded my brother and I to get good grades in school because that's all we had to do as kids, go to school, come home, do homework and duties around the house, eat and then go to bed. Schooling was the most important thing to him. He use to tell us to that you can always win fights with your brains and not your fists. Knowledge is power was one of his famous slogans.

I could go to my dad about anything and he would never turn me away. He always had time for me and my family. He made sure we went on summer vacations every year, sat at the dinner table as a family during dinner and made sure he knew what was going on in our lives. I can say that as I am an adult now, I really didn't realize how much of an impact he has had on my life. I talk in the same tone as him, drive like him, think rational like him, romantic like him, have dimples in the same place just like him. I can honestly look at my life and say that my father has always been my hero. In my eyes he could do no wrong even though no one is perfect. Every mistake he has made, he has owned up to it like a man.

In today's society, I am thankful that I has such a influential man in my life to help me through the rough times, show me how to treat women, how to handle a household and own up to your mistakes. As society continues to put down men and some of them do deserve it, I want to celebrate my dad, Charles Jones and everything he has done for me. Thank you Dad and I love you very much!

Kevin Charles Jones       

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love never ends

I have not written in my blog in such a long time! I have been a little down and have been concertinaing on finding an occupation and this process has been very difficult for me. After working 14 years straight with some type if job to not having one at all has been a humbling experience. Through out this whole process, my parents have been so supportive and continuing to allow me to stay with them until I get on my feet. That itself is a blessing!

Today while talking with my mother, she told me that my dad asked her out on a date tonight and she was just smiling from ear to ear. She was saying your father is being smooth and I was just laughing away. I then started to think, Wow, they are still living their lives as if they were still 20 years old. I think it is absolutely amazing that after 41 years of marriage, my dad is still being that person he was when I was growing up. Some couples just let there marriage just go with the flow and not still have the spice in it. My parents still go out on dates very often and continue to keep their marriage fresh and exciting. Sometimes I just sit back and say, if I get married, I am going to be the same way to my wife. There has never been a time that I have never saw them not show love to each other. I know they might not like each other from time to time but I know they are still deeply in love with each other. It shows in their actions and i am truly blessed to have seen a love like theirs when divorce is so common in today's society. Looking at my dad and mom I still do believe that good guys will get an amazing woman in their lives that will respect and cherish a true gentleman like my dad. I do believe that marriages are built to last when you find the right person. I do believe that marriage is a blessing and death do us part still does happen. I couldn't have been any prouder when my mom was telling me about her date tonight.

It is truly amazing to see older couples show love to each other. Holding hands, looking into each others eyes and you can see the love in their faces as they are glowing. I still see that in my parents and I have one of the most perfect examples on how true love never ends. Do you still believe in true love and that it never ends? Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Little Bit of My Family History Part I

As some of you may know, I was in South Carolina for Christmas with my extended family. I must say this was much needed in my life at the right time. I cannot express in words how wonderful it was to be around my family as I believe family is everything to me. I know we all have our ups and downs with them but I would not change anything in the world with mine. Being as though my grandmother just passed away in July, it was still on my heart. We went to her house to clean some stuff up and my mother wanted her cedar chest. I just walked around and got this warm but sad feeling over me. Later on that day we were all just sitting around talking and I started to ask questions about my great grand parents and my mother, aunt, and cousin knew a lot about them so I wanted to do more. I must say Google is an amazing thing and I cam across a website that my second cousin had out there. Come to find out, she had been doing research as well and then the information just started to come out. I got as far back as my great great grand parents. Wow! Good stuff! I will do more research to find out more but I wanted to share this with you all. This is on my mothers side. My fathers side is soon to come as I found out from my dad that my great great grandpa was white and my great great grandma was a native Indian. Check out this about my moms side. Sarah-Moultrie Graham is my grandma and I was am a part of that branch.

Zannie Graham and Phyllis Barr-Graham came from a section of Williamsburg County called Indiantown.  The history books and census books are scarce regarding Blacks.  We did find, however, that white masters with the names Grahamn, Barr, and Wilson were prominent in Indiantown and they gave their names to the slaves.  We believe that these slaves were our predecessors.

Zannie Graham was born February 11, 1891 in St Mark.  Little is known about the family of annie except that his father's name was Dairy Graham and he had two brothers, Samuel and Julius (Bubsy).  Zannie was raised by a white family.  Zannie's father was married twice.  His second wife's name was Bennie.
Phyllis Barr was born in 1892 in St Mark (according to a historian interviewed).  It was also noted that Grandma Phyllis was born the year of "The Big Shake" which was 1886.  Phyllis was the daughter of Tensil Bss and Ben Barr.  Ben Barr was born around the Civil War.  He was a farmer and owned 20 acres of land on which he grew rice and wheat, had a cane mill, and raised cows and hogs.  Tensil was his first wife and the mother of Phyllis.  Ben's second Wife was Elizabeth who became the mother of Ben's three youngest children, Mattie, Rosa and George.  Elizabeth was a farmer's wife and owned 40 acres of land.
Phyllis had 5 brothers:  Washington, George, Henry, William and Jacob Barr and 8 sisters: Mary (Honey) Wilson, Margaret Rogers, Lena Cooper, Fibby Barr, Tara Barr, Rosa (Plum) Burrows, Mattie (Flossie), Russia dnd Sally Barr.
Zannie and Phyllis were married November 18, 1913 at Trio, South Carolina.  Zannie was 21 years and 9 months old and Phyllis was 21 years old.  They both resided in Vox, SC.  They had a grand wedding with a horse drawn carriage and a big celebration after which they made their home in Hemingway, SC.
Over the years, they became the parents of 7 children, one of whom died in infancy.  There children were: Minnie Graham-Hawkins, Daniel Graham, James Graham, Sarah Graham-Moultrie, Zannie Graham, Jr., and Christine Graham-Coo[er.
Zannie departed this earth August 20, 1972 at the age of 81.  Phyllis joined him 14 years later on January 12, 1986 at the age of 95.

Have you ever researched where you family is from? What did you find out? Did it shock you? Where you proud? Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Going Into The New Year

The year of 2012 is fast approaching us and every year I am pretty sure we make up New Year's Resolutions right? Do we stick to them? Some of us do, some of us don't. I think the beginning of the New Year is a time to reflect on the past year, the good, bad, and the ugly and also look towards the future.

How often do we reflect before we move forward? Every year I tell myself to let go of all these things to make room for the new things in my life that will come. I think to myself, am I really reflecting on the things I plan to let go and why am I letting these things go. Sometimes when that happens, those same things that you try to let go, creep back into your life because you never really knew the real reason you wanted to change. Sometime we just can't go by it just feeling right but he have to really know why we want to change these things.

I consider myself to be extremely generous and every year I tell myself that this needs to stop. Most of the people I am generous to don't deserve it but yet I continue to be that way. Puzzling right? I ask myself the same thing. Is this action in me that much of a part of me that I can't let up? I really don't know. I have been hurt so many times by giving so much of myself because that's all I know. I am a caring person and if I believe I can help someone I will. This does not just include financial things, but time, feelings, trust, support, and the list goes on. Not all of these people are bad but some people just don't know how to take generosity. People think its fake or I do these things just to gain something in return and that's the furthest thing from the truth. I give because I love to give. It brings me joy to help others in need and because I have been blessed with a huge heart, most people take it for granted or use it for bad.

When something is so much of a part of you, how do you let it go? I don't know how to do things half way. I go hard all the way or I do nothing. There is no in between for me. Where does that leave me? Questions I ask myself every single day. I get all the time these same reactions "Kevin, your too nice", "That's so sweet of you", "Thank you so much for this", "Are you doing this to get something back in return?", "Why are you doing this for me?", and sorry to say ladies it mainly comes for you. Why can't I just be a nice guy, want to do nice things for you to smile. I ask myself who are people associating themselves with that kindness is not in the equation? I look at my closest and best friends and one thing we all have in common are that we are all giving people. We are not perfect but we are generous in everything we do. I choose to have these people in my life because we have this in common. A man can still be a man by being generous, you just have to open your mind to the idea. And what I mean by generous, I mean not having everything at your feet because that's crazy but doing nice things to let you know we care.

With that being said, what would you do? Are there things in your life that you try to let go and they end up back in your life even though you thought you let it go? Are you paying attention to the company that you keep? Do they have similar feelings about the same things? What are you guys wanting to let go in the New Year and how do you plan on keeping it away? Let me know your thoughts. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Counting Your Blessings

A couple a days ago I was invited to a friends place in Delaware. He has been trying to get me to come down and visit for the last month. I finally made the 40 minute drive to their Condo. Although I was just down their to chill out,  it meant more to me than I expected. I realized how blessed I am . I am really and truly blessed with so much that words cannot even express it. I think sometime when we are dealing with adversity, we forget what has been given to us.

As we were watching sports on TV we started talking about the situation we had just been through, how we are in the same boat with the economy and employment and just life in general. Although he is younger than I, he is very wise for his age. As we are talking , his daughter was running around playing and just as happy is she wanted to be. Watching him interact with her was a blessing to see as he is a wonderful father and she loves him to death. I started to play around with her as well and at first she was hesitant but I think she remembered me. She has to be one of the smartest 2 year old's I have ever met. She knows most of her colors and even knows some words when she sees them. Amazing. His other daughter had awoken from her nap and she let us know it by crying. We are all just hanging out having a good ole time while just talking about life. I just happened to zone out for a minute and just watched how my friends daughters interacted with my friend and all I kept saying to myself is that is truly a blessing. Although he is going through a difficult time, it doesn't stop him from being a father and a husband. Hours went by and his wife came home from work and the one daughter ran to the door yelling mommy, mommy. It was such a blessing to see her running to the door with the biggest smile on her face. Kids are so amazing as they let their feelings know all the time whether is happy or sad. Throughout this whole visit, my friend was so supportive telling me things are going to turnaround, have you done this, have you done that, what about this, what about that, let me get my laptop.

His wife decided to cook dinner and the soup that she made was amazing that I had seconds. Just talking with them and seeing how supportive they are to each other and to me. As stated before, we all just went through something but it doesn't stop them from being husband and wife and parents to their daughters. That alone is a blessing by itself. I thank them for the opportunity to spend time with them and the kids because it opened me up to think more about life.

Have you ever sat back and thought about the things you have in life? He you really realized how blessed you really are? Even through trials and tribulations do you see the light at the end of the tunnel? I have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes on my back, and people that love me. It could be a lot worse than it really is. Sometimes I loose sight of that but moments like I had a couple of days ago put me right back on track. I am thankful for everything I have and everything that will be provided to me in the future. As a man, sometimes pride gets in the way but I am thankful for everything. During hard times lets be thankful for the things we do have instead of the things we don't. There is always someone out there that has it worst than you. Lets be thankful.