Happy New Year, 2014!

What a blessing! It’s been a challenge trying to come up with some words to match the feelings of gratitude I feel going into this year. My 56th I meet this year with happiness, gratitude, but also some sadness. I left last year without some very special people to me, Lisa Rawls, Curtis Moore, and George Duke. We lost some great people in 2013 and I can’t help but feel it’s coming closer to me. That’s why I feel so grateful for all of you, my mom and dad, my brother and his family, and my friends Baron, Lenny, Jeffrey, Ted, Lance, Desmond, Brian, Robin, Tanya, Todd, George, Cardell, Rick, Nikki, Rob, Max, Dorene, Michael, Ellis, Natalie, and Alma. I just feel like some people need to be named as testimony to just some of the love that keeps me alive and makes my life worth living, people like Dr. Edwards, Dr. Toisekani, Dr. Putnam, and the teams of people that keep my mind and body healthy; as well as Wynton, Ellis, the rest of the Marsalis family, Roy Hargrove, Larry Clothier, and Sade, with their crews of helpers, that keep me spiritually and emotionally strong. To those many of you who do so much for me, not to mention all the rest of you that respond to my email and Facebook messages and phone calls, I am so blessed to have all of you make me feel part of your lives.

I’m sure you all have legions of people that mean a lot to you. You have to take the time to let them know, cause at some point, you won’t be able to. It’s important that they remember the impact that they have on your life. I’ve been blessed to live in a generation with television, the refinement of air travel, digital communication, computers, the web, cell phones, the first black president, and probably the first female president, and I’m still here, sharing it with you, my godchildren, and my nephews.

I hope I get to see more productivity from President Obama. That depends so much on the 2014 election – we need more Congressmen and Congresswomen and Senators to help him make a deeper and more meaningful impression on history and in all our lives today. We don’t have the right or expectation if we don’t vote for more support. He has shown us six years of family values, strength, and dignity, in spite of severe limitations. I have to thank him for that. I have to thank him for preparing to turn over a country in two years, ready for even greater accomplishments, to hopefully Hilary Clinton, her husband, and the kind of people that brought prosperity to the U.S. some years ago. I would love to see that with you.

This was a year when movies like “The Butler” and “12 Years a Slave” show strength, accomplishment, and dignified struggle from people proud to be and worthy of being some of the best this nation has had to offer. I’m thankful for all this country has given to me and mine. It’s enabled me to make a contribution and be a full participant in a world where miraculous things can happen anytime. Thank you for sharing it with me.

I look forward to good music, great sports, and family and friends getting together, sharing good times and weathering storms together. Thanks again for being there with me. I love you all!

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3 thoughts on “Happy New Year, 2014!

  1. Dearest Angel on Earth DJ,

    Happy and Blessed New Year 2014 to you!!!
    Thank you for sharing such beautiful stories and words about your beloved family and friends, and about your amazing experiences an perspectives, your incredible accomplishments, and your hopes and dreams. Sweet and handsome and loving DJ you have lots more living to do here on earth! And, we all see God working miracles through you and bringing people to healing and together!
    Thank you for sharing your amazing friendship and love with me, I treasure you and am grateful for every moment I’ve had with you. And we need to work on your book so here’s my renewed commitment to you to do that this year!!!
    Also, would you like to attend the USC Black Alumni Association event this Saturday evening, Feb. 1st at USC Bovard? It’s an exciting music and spoken word performance of Langston Hughes’s Jazz Suite, produced by Ron McCurdy, and featuring Malcolm Jamaal Warner. Would love to see you/have you there. Please let. me know.

    I love you and miss you,
    Patrice
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  2. Dear DJ,

    Each time that you write a message I feel your heart. For a brother to touch the heart of another brother takes a special relationship forged over time, experiences and a common lens through which we see most of our world. I am blessed to say that we share this type of relationship and have been afforded rare opportunities to enjoy what for some are once-in-a-lifetime moments. Though God has favored us such that there have been many of those wonderful times.

    As I read the list of the many individuals who have this same relationship with you, I am also grateful for them. Many of them I know or have met. In a world where too often the consensus is that people are selfish and disconnected, it is encouraging to know that we know many individuals who are the antithesis of that type thought process. However, I should not be surprised because like begets like. You have friends who embody character, integrity, commitment and sacrifice because you are cut from that same cloth. My prayer is that my children develop into the type of people who will attract the same type of friends that we have. Their relationship with their Uncle DJ has already placed them on the right path to fulfilling my prayer.

    We all share a social responsibility that manifests itself in our participation in the political process. There is no doubt that this election, like many previous ones, will have a lasting impact on the near-future of our nation. We have to finally address the skeletons in our country’s closet so that we can finally become “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” I believe that President Obama wants this American for everyone, but he will need cooperation of the entire citizenry. I pray that our people are spiritually mature enough to understand that our best days are not behind us, but are yet to come. However, we must get over this 400 year hurdle!

    According to Branford’s web site, there are no dates confirmed yet for Los Angeles or Phoenix. I will continue to monitor it so that we might make arrangements to enjoy some music together. I would like that very much.

    Have a great week and may God continue to watch over you.

    Be blessed,

    Richard

    Ps. Go Seahawks!!!

  3. Hey DJ!
    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your commentaries. You are one of the most uplifting, positive people I know. I am forever greatful that you crossed my path in this journey called life.

    Laurie Grier (Mann)

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