Live to Love

Mom, I love you! But I’m Done Living!
-Jalyn Jones

I make no secret of the story of my journey as I travel through life. I am many things. I am a daughter, sister, cousin, friend, mother, aunt, wife, educated, college educated with bachelors and masters, doctoral student dropout, bank executive, consummate professional, manager, fired 1 time employee, 2 time bankrupt, 2-time foreclosed home, homeowner, philanthropist, advocate, business owner…

It is difficult to say which role has been most rewarding, because all of them have greatly contributed to the woman that I am today. However, there is no question of the role that has been most impactful, and that is the role of mother.

Despite the creation of this blessing being born out of an abusive relationship, amid working and completing my college education, I never doubted or second guessed the arrival or presence of my prince, my son. We grew together. We loved. He taught. I taught. We fought. We laughed. I watched an adorable well-behaved, baby boy, grow into a mild-mannered, young man, with a heart of gold, complete with the ups and downs associated with parenthood, and especially the challenges of being a single parent of a black male. It was our village that made it possible. After all, when we left the hospital 2 weeks before the diagnosed due date, they failed to provide me with a manual on how to be the perfect parent. As in life, it was scratch and sniff, by trial and error.

Overcoming what would have taken most people out-shapes the cornerstones rounding the foundation of this journey, fortified by faith, resilience, ambition, and tenacity. My son’s birth pivoted me into adulthood, and his death launched me into purposeful and intentional living.

Unlike many who die, we are unable to say our last earthly goodbye. However, Jalyn blessed me with words that are forever etched into my soul, and have caused transformative living that has not only impacted me, but ripples into the lives that are directly and indirectly connected.

Purpose and intentional living is understanding that every breath is on purpose and with reason. Things don’t just happen, they happen justly. The gift to go on comes with responsibility to add to the world. The world is a gigantic puzzle, and we each possess a piece to add to it. When we add our own pizazz and seasoning to the world, we can impact and fulfill a greater will and purpose.

The key is to live to love. It is your right and responsibility. The beauty of it all is how you choose to use your key, and this will determine how you will be the change!

Joslyn RW Kelly