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Tribute: to our Lost Loved Ones -Part 11
12 years ago
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This is the start of the second part of "Tribute to our lost loved ones..." our first one is very long, and filled with such beauty, pain, loss, hope, and sharing and love...lets continue with this thread!

If any host knows how to pin it under the first -original Tribute-please do so!!

love A'isha

For Paul
12 years ago
Wednesday November 15th will be my 33rd birthday. I am starting on a project that is so vast that I hope not to get completely lost in it. Rather I hope to find myself and my father in this. My father Paul died when he was 35. I cannot let this day go unnoticed when I turn 35 and myself come to that day of his passing. One of the facets of this project is to find out as much about his AIDS experience as I can. I want to find out his diagnosis date and details of what happened throughout the process. I was only 11 at the time of his passing so this information was like greek to me and now the main people that would know have also passed. Does anyone have any recommendations as how to go about doing this? Are medical records available to children of deceased? Any help would be appreciated. Below is outline of project for any interested: TO BE AND TO KNOW Project start date: 11/15/06 Projected finish date: 5/7/09 Artist: Bellavia • First 12 months: o Experiential performances with documentation • Folded like a sheet/ White as a sheet – Exploration of confused childhood memory of Father’s death. For specified amount of time, the carrying of a white bed sheet with me daily. Documentation to include photos taken of sheet draped over self or other items in nature/city scapes, pictures of self folding/unfolding sheet in different settings or situations. • Where I walk/ “You have your fathers feet” – Documentation through photos of own feet – idea of seeing where I am going, where I have been and where I intend to go through photos of my feet. Exploration of “my feet” and “his feet”. Possible inclusion of others feet. o Information research: • NO SILENCE: Father’s AIDS Diagnosis Date, medical records, any stories or AIDS info. I can obtain in relation to his life. Info on level of his AIDS, talk to any of his lovers/friends/family willing to talk (and still living) to learn of his life, personality, how he and they dealt with AIDS. • Year of self exploration – Journal work : written and video o Letters –written from self to family searching for information/documentation and documentation of those received in return. • Second 12(17) months: o Preparation: purchase of own gravesite, draw up own will, o Time frame 11/15/08 – 5/7/09 working with gender issues/self identity/fathers identity o Letters – written from him as him to self(daughter) o Day of his Death 5/7/09 performance to include cleansing, reassuming self identity, three days of silence o Funeral Performance TBD to include other artists *NOTE: All parts of this project are subject to change at any given moment dependant upon outcome of information received and processed.
salaam Mina
12 years ago

Salaam Mina-

Im not sure about your relations with family members..but I would start to interview family members/friends-especially those who were close to him--also-look up on web-or i can help u--advocates for children whose parent (s) have died from AIDS-they can be a great resource...look for letters, documents, etc...which may be still around that your mom or another relative may have kept..put an ad in the paper where your Dad lived-asking anyone who knew him if they would please contact you-then if they do- explain the reason you need to talk with them...finally-if you know of any treatment centers he went to-look them up-visit them, see if any of the people still work there...the reason i mention this is that at least 6 of my previous clients would write a  letter to their children and  every six months sign a release form with me for consent to give them this letter should they pass-luckiliy-they lived beyond my time there and the info was passed on to the next therapist--also-check with state laws regarding consents of info after one has passed away-these laws are strict-but the AIDS quilt project to maybe add a quilt for your Dad..

what you are doing is beautiful and your Dad i feel will be working closely on this project together will give you a sense of freedom, closure, and a chance for his daughter to build a beautiful tribute to him...

if you would like--we will pin a thread/dedication just for him on Leo' can put as much or as little info as youd like-anyhing-findings, poems, tributes, memories...your call..

let me know..

and let me know if you need anything..

love & blessings, A'isha

salam..a Tribute to Norville-Mr. J
12 years ago
Greetings everyone...
I wish to express my deepest condolences to Norville's family..may God grant you ease, and see you through this most difficult time...It is with the greatest of sadness in which I write this letter, and I have had a very difficult time bringing myself to do so only because it hurts so badly, and I never thought in a million years, I would be doing this- for the irrepressible Mr. J.   I guess some people's spirits are so strong, so determined-you never really think of them as leaving this earthly plane....
May God grant you peace, comfort within each other as family and friends, and may we all embrace our family and friends, as we never know when we will see them last...
To Norville:
Well, everyone calls you Mr. J and I always called you Norville-so Norville-here I am...
guess you thought I wouldn't make huh...but I did..with Tatiyanna & spirit, but we are here. 
I have so many memories about you Norville, how long have we known each other? 10 years???  Lots of good memories my friend...
my friend....and that indeed was what you were, a true friend at that.  I remember you talking about what it was like growing up, some of your childhood trials,  joys, happy times, and  hurts, disappointments, tragedies..even as a young boy-you developed a strong sense of self and self preserverance..
you spent a lot of time outdoors in nature....looking at the stars at the dark sky...and as a child watching nature, birds in flight, rabbits scampering,..As you grew up-you were a hard worker...from shipyards, fishing boats, factories, driving trucks, painting--you always put forth your best...and never complained. 
I remember our conversations about Ohio, how you said would love to watch the birds...rabbits..and then you'd wink at me and say  "was planning my dinner!" loved the country B-BQQ's, the grass under your feet....I remember how you use to tell me about fishing and you would go fishing every chance you could...that was a place of peace for you my friend..but I suspect you let every fish go that you caught!!  You always talked about going back home, to see your Mom...and feel the country again...
You talked a lot about your family, children, their much you loved them, but regretted the mistakes you talked a lot about your children...especially proud you were of her, and how much you loved worried about her a lot and through your concern, I had the blessing of meeting her...she is a beautiful young lady Norville and in knowing her, I also see some of your qualities in her such as strength, determination and compassion...Lord I remember how angry you would get if you thought her boyfriend wasnt doing her right!  You'd be crazy!!  A Fathers natural instinct for protecting..
if you hadn't heard from her in a while--you'd always ask me if I did, and one way or another we would connect, putting your heart to rest...Im thankful to you for meeting her, for she too, is family to me and I love her very you know-you have a beautiful grandchild!!  But im sure as you know that, you are smiling down now- upon precious Tashi...and Keenia...
You really are something else!!  Like no one I ever met!! (smile, I always told you that too huh!) STUBBORN!!  Oh you were a stubborn man..I think me and a few others (and you know who you are!!) were the only ones who could press you into something you had your mind set were so hardheaded..but thats what made you-you!  You could be heard  yelling and cussing down the hallways at some doctor or nurse who made you angry or wasn't doing what needed to be done----
and, you could also be found helping an elderly lady across the street, or complimenting a rather homely women on how beautiful she was (you always said all women no matter age, looks, size-were beautiful & needed to be told so) , or feeding someone who was hungry...letting friends stay with you who had no where to go...bringing little gifts to people, callling friends to make sure they were worried about everyone but yourself..
I remember going to Buffalo General with you when your friend "L" was held her hand, told her jokes, and even though she was almost comatose,  she would begin to giggle...oh the gift you had..and when she died a few days later, the grief in your voice was so apparent...but you said she had gone to a better place... you visited her family,  and brought gifts for her grands..helping pack some of her helped ease their pain...
while you visited many in the hospital.. you could never go to a funeral...I think Tara and I got you to go to one- "D's" was wintery, cold..and I remember you coming in with us, and saying you can't went to the see "D", said what you needed to say..then took off into the white snowy never did believe in never could really say goodbye i dont think...
Tara now lives in Texas with her new husband and son Mar'qeull and baby Josiah...she too, like us all is grievin
12 years ago
Tara now lives in Texas with her new husband and son Mar'qeull and baby Josiah...she too, like us all is grieving Norville....funny how you two clicked!!  A staunch Christian woman challenging you on every debate you had about religion...when you finally started talking about Jesus, the two of you share a spiritual journey that took you someplace else in your mind....I remember seeing the two of you in the corner of the room, holding hands and praying...i also saw the tear fall when you were done praying and you hugged each other...changed your thoughts about religion forever...only the two of you & God knows...but you grew to love each other, hence another family member was adopted, and she was so grateful for the blessing of you...
You saw me go thru two marriages and always said "Im the best husband you ever had..."  (I think you had about 3-4 wives at GBS!! smile!!!!) true indeed you were...maybe not in the traditional sense, but you were always a friend, always there, always with a smile, you'd call whenever you could and say "guess what!   Im just calling to say I love you!!"  That always brought me such joy to hear you say that, as the only other person who ever did that was my Dad...and then, you always came with a good joke...
Lord your jokes Norville!!!  You had the best!!  We always discussed your writing a book one day-of all your jokes-which brought so much joy and smiles to all who heard them..yes..that was one of your well as enrolling in EOC some had plans, goals & dreams...  
You had a joke or two (or three or four!!) everyday you came in to see your GBS brought light & joy with your way of looking at life, your determination, and your "dont sweat the small stuff" philosophy...
I remember how when a few years ago I found out I was possibly exposed to the virus--I went to get tested..I got the bus downtown..angry, upset and feeling rather was an airhead moment..I just stood there frozen..all of a sudden I heard from across the street-"HEY BABYCAKES!   There you were!!  Just at the right moment....I told you were I was going..and you said "comon...your not going alone..Im going with you..everything will be ok..." and together we walked in, I got tested, with you by my side and you just shook your head and said "now see didnt I tell you everything was going to be ok??" when it came back negative. 
12 years ago
I remember the cornish hens you would bring, the gallons of milkshakes you would bring Tatiyanna cuz (you gotta get some meat on those bones girl, your skinnier than me!!), the goodies you would bring her & Angel-healthy stuff-always...but once in a while some candy!!  Tatiyanna told me a few days ago it was you who said "your too big for these things" and took off her training wheels on her bike-and away she drove!!  
I remember how you painted every house/apt I moved into!!  You painted as a Pro, and never complained about all my crazy colors!!  I thank you for all of this Norville, and so much more...for sharing you, your life, your family, your joys, your regrets, your joys, your plans...but one never -ever once complained about anything personally..not about illness, not about what you didnt have, or lost, or being were so independent and never asked for'd go without first...but..most of us who knew you...knew when you needed something and we all would make sure you had....your struggles in this life never got you down...
I will miss you at holiday many times you graced our home with your presence for holiday dinners..and at other times..for us it was special, for me, Tati & Angel make our family as we go along in this life and yes my brotha, you are family...and the funny thing keeps going on..Tykenia & Tashi are family too..the circle continues...
My son Jonathan... were so good to him Norville, always asking how he was doing..if he was ok...and I thank you for makin a young brotha feel loved...I remember you came to his high school graduation party...he was surprised you came, and so glad to see you there and to share one of his accomplishments with you....
Well ole man..yep-use to call you that too!!  I could go on forever...i still can hear your laughter, feel your hugs, see your smile, see you walking in the door grabbing a cup of coffee and start telling us the latest joke...I remember gettin mad at you too and tellin your butt off a few times when you werent taking care of business..-though you'd just laugh at me (smile) but the truth is, i miss you..I'll always miss you...but i always felt your spirit around me, when i moved across country-and even now-that youve moved onwards towards heaven...i always told you that you had wings, that you were an'd say "shhh...yea but dont go tellin everyone...."
12 years ago
.....An Angel Passed Away One Night...
An angel passed away one night
as he lay sleeping -in slumbers delight
death did call -with a gentle hand-
and said "you have been a rightous man"
but your time to rest is near you now,
your work is done, the hearts were touched..
but your leaving will hurt many, very much..
but my son it's time to pass
and step into the light
on that cool country grass
for what awaits you
"what dreams may come"
is peace and joy in the Lords
promised land---
let me guide you' take my hand...
you lived your life just like all-
with sins and joys
and regrets untold,
happiness and love-
with faults as well-
no human is perfect
but your wings stood out
they made you gold
you tried to help,
to heal, to love,
to bring laughter, peace and many hugs...
to repair, make ammends,
make someone smile,
you would sacrifice of yourself
and walk those miles...
For those of whom you've left behind
they wont be alone for your spirit still shines
they will feel you still -
in the breath of a starry night
in the soft movement of water
where fish make their home
they will feel your spirit 
in the strength 
& warmth of the sun
as they remember you...
being a very special one..
your wings are tired
they have done their work
you've earned your place the love you gave on earth..
so-come my son
on this journey let's go...
for much awaits you
in eternity...
family, friends
and loved ones are there
and your soul will still look over
those whom you left on earth
someday tho
they will join you too
and you will greet them,
as I have greeted you.....
i saw an angel
in the blink of an eye
soaring across the starry sky...
i did not know it was you
my beloved friend...
but "when dreams may come"
we will meet again....
we love & miss you Norville...
soar high with fresh wings in heaven...
Love A'isha, Tatiyanna, Angel..2006
12 years ago

The above post/tribute took me about a week to finally get out...been a hard friend was found dead in his apt. in NY...they say it was a heart attack...Out of respect for those at the memorial-confidentiality was kept...I found out Monday...he was in there for three weeks..this is a tribute to him i send to his daughter to read at his memorial...just wanted to share it with my Leo's the way...Norville & Leo were friends as well...

Love & blessings, A'isha

Thinking of you...
12 years ago

Always With You

Your heart may be heavy and aching
Now that I'm no longer here,
But though you may shed many tears
Let memories banish your fear.

My arms are no longer around you,
My lips cannot speak of my love,
But I'm with you in spirit each day,
As I look down from Heaven above.

The house may be silent without me,
It doesn't mean I can't be there,
And when every night that you sleep,
Our love in your dreams we still share.

As you continue alone on the earth,
I'll be with you each step of the way,
I can still be the strength that you need
To carry you through each new day.

Although I know you can't see me,
Our spirits are joined as before,
So whenever you feel uplifted
Know it's me just loving you more.

In Heaven we're given a gift
To still tend to the ones left behind,
So smile when you think of me,
I remain in your heart and your mind.

Copyright Marian Jones 2001
Salaam Angel...
12 years ago

Thank you so much sis for the beautiful poem...its so comforting..Im sharing it with his daughter as you Angel...

love & hugs, A'isha


ps--Im not getting ANY of my messages from care2!! so-i dont know when anyone has posted...   have to contact them.. to fix it

Thinking of you...
11 years ago
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