Celebrating summer birthdays

The summer months are special to me because of the birthdays they include.  Mine came July 2.  We had a great birthday dinner for some friends and family at Harold and Belle’s .  My dad was there, but my mom was missed.  She’s got back surgery on Aug. 27.  I want all of you to think about her and pray for her.  I’m doing good otherwise.  I hope to remain so while my mom is rehabilitating for the next couple of months.  With God’s help and your love, we will be fine.

I went to a party for a UCLA colleague of mine, Jason.  His twin boys turned one year old.  Jason and his wife are great parents!  They have a wonderful network of family and friends.  Jason’s in the education network, with many of his friends.  They all have children.  I’m connected with Jason through my mentor Harry Edwards.  They’re related.  I saw two of Harry’s daughters, his wife and his first grandchild, KJ, at the party.

I missed one on the east coast.  My “adopted” brother and sister, Todd and Tanya,  had a birthday on July 29.  I’m so proud of them.  I saw Tanya and her family this past year, and I look forward to seeing Todd and his family soon.  They’re twins.  We’ve been connected since childhood, growing up in NJ.

This past Aug. 11, my brother Wayne had his 53rd birthday.  He’s such a strong family member.  We’re so proud of him.   He keeps things going.  He keeps his and our family working.  I’m so proud of him and I love him so much!

Birthday celebrations are so important.  We need to celebrate each other’s birthdays and share gratitude for another year together.

I look forward to a new school year.  My older nephew Tommy will be a high school senior.  I’m so thankful to be here and look forward to sharing his graduation with my family in June.  My other nephew Jordan is going to be in the 8th grade.  He’s growing up strong and doing great in school.  I have friends’ kids going back to college, Chris in NJ, Danielle in Boston, Taylor and Richard in Tucson, AZ, Haskel in a pre-med program in South Carolina, and Briana in Washington DC, who will be finishing her senior year at Howard.  My other Briana is going to England for a semester and my boy Theo is going to Switzerland for a semester.  And my boy Malcolm is starting his first year in medical school in Atlanta! This is really the beginning of my year.  With their support, I will stay in touch with them.  I hope to be of encouragement to them and see them become successful.

It’s been an incredible year.  Next time I get to write to you, I want to talk about race relations, police and community problems (starting with Ferguson) and other things.  So much good yet so many problems.  I’m still optimistic that together we can make it better.  So glad it’s football season.  Trojans, Saints, and some of my other teams will take me into the holidays, God willing.

Stay in touch with me.  I love you all!