Monday, February 29, 2016

Photos from Last Night!


Notable Detroit-area jazz photographer Jeff Dunn blessed us with his presence last night, snapping photos of all of the performers who sat in on the jam session. He gave me permission to share his photos of me provided that I give him credit, so here one is! Follow the link to see the rest of them.



Jazz Cafe at Music Hall (28 February 2016)

Feminist Compliment on the Most Unique Day! :)

"You fill me with ovarian pride."  

Angela, former co-worker, in response to videos of my performance from last night

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bye Bye Blackbird + All the Things

I did it! After putting it off for so long despite my vocal instructor trying to give me every pep talk in the world, I finally sang jazz at a jam session again!

The illustrious Scott Gwinnell (see my MDJW experience) started hosting a Sunday night jam session at the Jazz Cafe at Music Hall last week. I heard about it, was on a high from praying and singing at church today, and I felt bold enough to go so I went. Tip: earphones IN, volume UP.


This is my first time performing in five months. I always do this to myself. Before the last time it'd been two months. Before that, it'd been three months. Before that, two months. Before that, 10 months. Before that, two months. Before that, two years. What happens is I perform, and then I terrify myself out of doing it again. Ok, I did alright this time, but next time I might not be so lucky. What if next time is the time that I really mess up? Then everyone will know I'm a fraud. Ok then, so I just won't bother wasting my time because I don't want to humiliate myself and I don't want everyone to know I'm a fraud. Problem solved. But then I start to feel crappy after not singing for so long, and  I've hyped the moment up in my mind so much that the first time back is overwhelmingly and unnecessarily stressful. Like tonight was.


My pole/twerk instructor Kamilah calls it the Bad Habit Monster, and I call it Carrie's mom. You know, from the '70s horror flick Carrie? With pretty much everything I care about doing or want to challenge myself with, before I can get too deep into it or share it with people there's a voice (more like a sensation, I promise I don't hear voices) that goes off in my head warning and taunting me, "They're all gonna laugh at you! They're all gonna laugh at you!" And I panic, shut down, sit down hard on whatever I've got brewing, and retreat into hiding. But I don't want to be my own Carrie's mom anymore. I got to the jam session this evening and was still nauseatingly nervous once I'd signed in, sat down, and waited my turn. And I told myself, it's absurd that anyone would laugh at me here. But even if they do laugh at me, at least I was there to hear it. At least I showed up. So even though I did my thing and it wasn't 100%, I was just proud of myself for coming through and proving myself wrong. I overcame one of my fears today, plus I met a 2016 goal ahead of schedule (one of my 3-month goals was to start performing again; I had until the end of March). That's good enough for me. For now.

One of my besties Diamond came with me as moral support and to have a good time at my expense. She calmed me down, recorded these videos, told me to sing louder next time, sat with me as we enjoyed the other performances, insisted on this bathroom selfie, and then had us go to Steak 'n Shake where she cracked me up convincing me that Gremlins and Furbies are cousins. 'Twas such a fun night thanks to her.

Thanks to Scott Gwinnell for creating space for young'uns and newbies in the jazz scene to learn and explore. Thanks to Diamond for her support and silliness. Thanks to my vocal instructor DL for patiently nudging me. Hopefully this Sunday thing will be a way for me to build confidence through consistency.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

BOOKS! (The War of Art)

I have Crissle and Kid Fury from The Read to thank for recommending this book to me and thousands of other listeners. I've been an artist-in-hiding for most of my life, and for the past few months I've been fighting myself especially hard to keep things that way. Even though that's not really what I want; it's just been familiar for so long. But anywho. The War of Art is a manual for artists, or anyone who struggles to start and be consistent with things that are important to them but which are also new and potentially terrifying. Steven Pressfield (author of The Legend of Bagger Vance) identifies why we stop ourselves from pursuing said ventures, and then uses his understanding of what professional artists do as a basis to advise us on how to overcome internal obstacles.


The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

This book is divided into three parts ("books"), and Book One delves into capital-R Resistance and the myriad of ways in which it fools and defeats us. Pressfield defines Resistance as an inner force that keeps us from taking the action needed in order to do what each of us has been placed on Earth to do. It chokes our genius and makes it seem easier or less painful not to do the work. It is fed by fear and manifests itself in the form of procrastination, avoidance, self-doubt, and excuses. One must not fall into its trap. However, the redeeming aspect of this is that we can use fears or doubts as indicators. Whatever we put off doing or avoid showing to others, yet can't stop thinking about, must be extremely important to us. In that same vein, we must have something special if we're fighting so hard to protect it and make sure it's great. All the more reason to create things and share them!

Book Two is all about what distinguishes professionals from amateurs, which boils down to mindset and discipline. Pros create things principally because they can't not do it, not because they're expecting to get something out of it or become famous. And yet, while their particular art or expertise is essential to who they are, it is not all that they are. Pros push past internal Resistance, don't let the potential for criticism paralyze or control them, and they develop a sense of humor about failure. The bottom line is that nothing will happen if people don't sit down to do the work and commit to excelling at their craft. The professional understands this well, whereas the amateur hasn't quite grasped this yet.

Finally, after having set forth the major problem and offsetting that with the ideal that he thinks artists should aim for, Pressfield uses Book Three to discuss tactics to overcome the former and attain the latter. First, artists have to own what their specialty is and what they want to use it for, and use this self-awareness to motivate them to create, rather than focusing on what will sell or what an audience might like. Second, according to Pressfield, creation comes from a higher realm; it is a gift given to each person in order for them to produce it in earthly form and share it with the world. As such, in order to create according to one's purpose, he or she must invoke whatever higher power or higher intelligence (God, angels, ancestors, one's Muse), necessary to help them along. It may sound hippy-dippy, but listen. If you receive something that's one-of-a-kind from someone and they made that thing exclusively for you, wouldn't it make sense to consult them about how to use that gift?

The most important lesson I take from The War of Art is that, while it may seem painful or difficult, starting something is the most important hurdle. Don't worry about how much you'll get done or whether what you make will be good at first. START! Just start! Inspiration will come! When you're already in action doing what you're meant to do, inspiration and all kinds of unexpected good things will come to you! Personally, I feel like this book called me out on a lot of things, and I see why comedian/writer/speaker/media personalities like Kid Fury and Crissle spoke so highly of it. Thank you for your contribution, Steven Pressfield. This might be a book that I read every year! If you're having trouble starting or finishing something you've always wanted to do and would like someone who understands to give it to you straight, I'd definitely recommend The War of Art.

Favorite quotes:
"The professional cannot allow the actions of others to define his reality. Tomorrow morning the critic will be gone, but the writer will still be there facing the blank page. Nothing matters but that he keep working" (92). 

"By Blake's model, as I understand it, it's as though the Fifth Symphony existed already in that higher sphere, before Beethoven sat down and played dah-dah-dah-DUM. The catch was this: The work existed only as potential... It needed someone. It needed a corporeal being, a human, an artist [to] bring it into being on this material plane. So the Muse whispered in Beethoven's ear. Maybe she hummed a few bars into a million other ears. But no one else heard her. Only Beethoven got it. He brought it forth" (117).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"You're white, Larry! You don't have to!" - RACE

Was going to write a proper review of this film, but I feel some type of way about writing about yet another sports film (three in a row! who am I?), it's Black History Month, and I'm tired.

Long story short: The fastest man in the world is a black man from Ohio. White folks stay mad and play too many games. Jesse Owens takes the pressure to perform up to his potential as an athlete, the pressure to represent his people well, the pressure to prove his worth to his country, and the hateful racist BS being thrown at him from both sides of the Atlantic, and turns all that into 4 gold medals. He is the GOAT even when most of the powers that be ain't want him to be great. And this is in 1936. Segregation, Nazi Germany, sports and politics merging even more than usual, and a black man showing up and showing out. 
 
Go see this film, though! It's very comprehensive in its aim to contextualize Jesse's Olympic accomplishments. The double meaning of the film title is not incidental. 'RACE' makes many salient points about lived experiences of racism and other forms of discrimination while giving Mr. Owens his shine.

A Note About Everyday Writing

At first, I'd planned to post all of my daily writings here in response to WPTDS prompts, but then it occurred to me that maybe I shouldn't give all the goods away for free. Plus it'll get pretty crowded here if I do that.

So though I will be writing in a journal everyday, I'll only post one of my writings once a week or every two weeks, I haven't decided. But trust, I am writing! And you'll be able to read some of it if you like! Here's Day 1 again to hold you over until next time.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Everyday Writing - Day 1

While I was up late last night listening to a podcast and thinking about things way past what should've been my bed time, I had a great idea! I'm going to start writing creatively again! Three years I've been running this blog, and I still love it, but it's gotten a little stale for me. Most of the time I write about other people's work or about things that happen to me (which I'll continue to do and is creative in its own way, mind you), but I realized late last night that I hardly take the time to use my voice to create something new. Flex those imaginative muscles. So with the help of Steph Buchanan's Writing Prompts that Don't Suck, I'm challenging myself to see what I can do. Everyday, starting today. Let's get started.

WPTDS #1: Person, Place, Thing
Write a story using these three things: a paper clip, a hospital, an exotic dancer

"I mean, Blue. I like stalling like the best of them. But you know waiting out your nerves from inside the building is an option too."

"I told you I don't like hospitals. Take me home."

"What about the lobby? I'll go in with you and we can sit together."

"The lobby still counts, Violet. Besides, I'm already stuck with you holding me hostage in this car."

"Well, you wouldn't have to be stuck with me if you'd just go up and see him. Everybody's been to visit him except for you. He'll be disappointed if you don't show your face."

"Wouldn't he be more disappointed knowing that I was tricked into coming?  I'm minding my business enjoying my nap when you wake me up yelling, 'Hey cousin! Let's go for some red velvet!'.  I get in the car and you bring us here. Does this look like a bakery to you? I put pants on for this! You owe me for lying and for wasting my time. I'll accept payment in the form of the cake you promised, an apology, taking me home, and not saying another word to me for the rest of the─"

"Fine! I'll do that. Okay? I'm sorry. You win! But let's go in there first. Come on, now. You don't have to say 'Sorry it took me so long' or any of that. Just tell him 'Hi' and 'I love you' and we can leave."

"Nah. I'm good. Take me home, and take that stupid paper clip out of your hair before you try to tell me anything about anything! You look silly."

"Hey now! You know I got all this hair that gets in the way when I'm working. They already don't like to have girls with natural hair up on that pole, so I need to at least see what I'm doing. I get paid to be seductive, not fall on my behind. And I keep losing bobby pins, so I improvised. I told you it was cute when you did it."

"That's because it was cute when I did it.  Stop playing games with me, Violet. Please just take me home. I won't go in there and see him looking like that. I know the real Grandpa, and the real Grandpa's not just somebody's hospital patient."

"Looking like what? How would you know when you haven't even seen him yet? It's not like he's dying, Blue. He'll be back home by next week." 

"But he was sick enough to be cooped up in there in the first place though, right? Well then. That's just not something I can handle. I'll see him when y'all bring him home."

"Girl! For real! He's in there. Eighth floor. In his bed, checking each person who passes by his door, trying his hardest to see out the window, looking for you. Haven't you made him wait long enough? He's expecting you!"

"No he's not."

"I bet you a red velvet and a pineapple upside-down that he is."

"...Hold up. Y-You told him I was coming?! No way! How do I know this isn't another trick?"

"Wanna risk flaking on Grandpa and breaking his heart to find out?"

"Ugh, alright fine! Make me sick, a girl can't even take a nap and─Violet let me out of this car! Not gonna have me lookin' like a jerk on account of you. Play too much. Let's go! I'm telling Grandpa about all this. And you still owe me cake!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ma no care.

Me: Thanks for being so helpful. -_-
Ma: You welcome.
Me: That was sarcasm, Ma!
Ma: You still welcome! 

Positivity on YouTube

When I'm not reading, writing, singing, cooking, keeping my languages up, developing muscle memory at PAAD, applying for jobs, and occasionally sulking, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and watching/listening to YouTube videos. Below are a few YouTube projects I've come across recently that have really helped me change my perspective (slooowly) and muster up positive vibes.


Andrea Lewis

I first new Andrea Lewis from my elementary and middle school days watching "Degrassi: The Next Generation", in which she played a character named Hazel. But just last month, my friend Dany featured Lewis on her self-love/body positivity blog, The Dear Body Project. In this feature, Dany interviews the actress and lists eight reasons why Andrea Lewis should be one of the women who inspires us most to treat ourselves kindly and be the best that we can be. I skimmed the blog post, it was well-written and encouraging like most of Dany's writings are. Cut to last week, when I remembered reading that Andrea had a YouTube channel and thought, You know what? Let me check this thing out. And I loved it! Typically when I find a YouTube channel or podcast that I enjoy, I like to go back to the very beginning of their content and watch or listen through everything up until their most recent work. That's what I've been doing with Andrea's channel for the past week. She's about all the things that Dany's about, except on her channel she also goes into the grind and joys that come with being an artist, which I find personally helpful. With her it's all love and honesty and adorableness and work ethic and growth and good vibes; she's like that special, light-giving friend everyone should have. Below is the video of hers that's challenged me the most so far; it's been a week and I'm still meditating on what she says in it:




Margot vs Lily

Three weeks ago I saw an ad for this webseries while waiting for a different video to start playing, and I was intrigued enough to give it a shot. Nike Women's most recent campaign attempts to speak to and empower all women, including regular girls who might tend to feel alienated by the majority of fitness brands. Margot vs Lily is part of that initiative to inspire, entertain, and sell things. Two adopted sisters challenge each other to a New Year's Resolution bet: Lily (a popular fitness YouTuber) is challenged to make 3 friends in real life, and Margot (who just lost her job and thinks her sister's channel is silly) is challenged to make her own fitness channel and get 1,000 subscribers. The webseries is a very casual, charming, lighthearted project that I've come to appreciate a lot more than I thought I would. I like how the fact that Lily's black and Margot's white is mentioned but also isn't an issue; they're still sisters and they're just people. I love Lily's hair, upbeat attitude, and awkwardness. She's just a goodhearted girl who just doesn't know how to work her magic in person, which is basically me. In terms of body type, both of the actresses  represent the mainstream standard, but their broader relatability lies in their challenges.  Margot shows that not all twenty-something women are fitness freaks or need to be, and Lily shows that not all online media personalities have it all together when the cameras aren't rolling. Here's the first episode to get you started:





"The TOOL Is NOT Important The GIFT IS"

The comedian Kevin Fredericks (Kevonstage) was a regular fixture in the Great YouTube Binge of 2013, so he and his content aren't new to me. Most of the time his videos are incredibly silly and stoopid, inducing either cackles or head-shaking depending on what he's talking about. As a Christian and as a person in general Kevin tries to inspire his viewers, and every so often he uses a video to do his good preachin'. And y'all. Y'all. This video right here that he uploaded yesterday spoke to my entire life and the exact moment where I am right now! It's for people who are afraid to use their gifts, which is me to a T. Please watch it, and apply it as you see fit:




I hope that these videos prove helpful to you in some way, even if just as happy distractions!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

BOOKS! (And After Many Days) - proof

This book is the last advance reader's copy that I found up for grabs in the bookstore break room, and so with this review comes the symbolic end to an era that officially ended almost two months ago. Using a family tragedy as a vehicle for examining social strife, this novel beckons readers to revisit the violence and political upheaval of 1990s Nigeria.

And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile
(on sale February 16, 2016)

Paul is the eldest of three children in the middle class Utu household. One day in September 1995, he steps out of their house in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and never returns.Though the central conflict is this missing 17-year-old, And After Many Days is neither a crime novel nor a mystery novel. Rather than focusing on his family's efforts to find him, Jowhor Ile communicates the weight and distress of Paul's absence by immersing us in the life he and his family shared before he disappeared. And this is all told from the point of view of Ajie, the youngest child and the last person in the family that Paul talked to before he left the house for the last time. Ajie is greatly attached to his family, but his ideas don't always match theirs and he resents not being recognized as an individual more often.

Through Ajie's eyes we make a visit to the family village of Ogibah, which, more than three decades after independence from Britain, has to contend with big business filling colonial shoes. Relatives and fellows there constantly clash with an oil company that's destroying the Ogibah way of life through construction, land seizure, pollution, and bribes used to weaken local morale and resistance. Furthermore, the village people have little recourse when the company has the military-led government and the police on their side. In the cities, universities are shut down intermittently as students and faculty protest, often being intimidated or beaten back into place by police. People, especially young people, are disappearing. Those who resist, or call officials out on their corruption and hypocrisy, or complain too vocally, or are in the wrong place at the wrong time, or are just minding their own business but are still somehow a threat to or "in the way" of the powers that be. People are disappearing for any reason and no reason at all, and Paul is one of those people.

While he doesn't realize it at first, in the midst of these changing times Ajie is grappling with the loss of not only his brother, but also of society as he knows it to be. He is already unsettled by nature, and the events he witnesses only make him more so.  And After Many Days takes up the past, and this backward-looking story is framed by Ajie's latent rage. Ajie's angry about being last on the pecking order of his siblings, about classmates thinking they can punk him, about being punished for asking questions instead of receiving answers, about not being seen or heard, and about having what's most precious to him taken away and not being able to do anything about it. As he awaits his beloved brother's return, Ajie refuses to relent and never stops searching for him.

Favorite quote:

"But whatever there was to know about desire and its costs was beyond Ajie then. He was at that time completely passionate and completely pure. He imagined himself, his brother, and his sister to be people who would shoot into the world and burn, fiery arrows set free by their parents from their home here at number 11. They would love greatly and do useful things. Bibi would become rich and important and build houses and hospitals for the poor. Paul would simply change the world. But what would that cost?" (78).

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Kindness is hard.

Trying to remember this. Cultivating kindness for yourself is hard when you've always conceptualized going easy on yourself as "being undisciplined", "not caring enough", "not doing enough", and "not trying hard enough". TUH. Self-compassion goes against nearly all that I know how to be, but I'm trying.


"Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing. A memory to someone. A home to a life." How are your New Year's...
Posted by Project Happiness on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Talking with Yasmin 12

I'd decided that today would be our last session, though I wasn't going to tell Yasmin as much. The plan was to go one last time today just to see how it went and be sure, schedule an appointment for next week like always, and then just cancel in a few days and never come back.

Given the predicament that I'm in, I know I could use therapy. I need help, but I'm tired. I'm tired of leaving sessions feeling like I've wasted my time and my money. I considered asking Yasmin about making an appointment with one of the other psychiatrists in that office so I could give meds another try. See if that would make a difference. But especially following that awful appointment with Dr. B, I'm tired of having to introduce myself and my issues over and over, telling the same story about myself again and again. Most certainly, this feeling of stalled progress isn't all Yasmin's fault; I've found that usually if I feel like I've hit a wall in therapy, part of it is due to my impatience or unwillingness to make/stick to certain changes. I don't want to let my apathy take over and lead me to make another unwise decision, but then again I'm just so over this whole thing.

So I've concluded that... I don't know. (Haha, of course. I feel like everything in my life at present is a bunch of question marks heaped on top of each other to form one big, towering, stubborn "I don't know"). Today Yasmin was oddly quiet, I don't know why. Aside from a few questions she hardly said anything, and it was annoying because I'd finish saying what I had to say, and then I felt like I had to come up with something else to talk about just to fill the silence. I'm strongly considering never going back. Not because Yasmin's bad at what she does, she's not. She just doesn't seem to be working for me, and I'm tired.

That's where I am right now. My notes from today are short:
  • Gotten real comfortable with having forgotten about my dad and pretending that he doesn't exist. He's become, literally, the furthest thing from my mind, and things are better this way. I like it. 
  • Took a personality test at 16personalities.com. Says I'm type INFJ, "The Advocate". Must go back and consult these results, see if they might be useful.
  • "You need to give yourself some more credit," so Yasmin says. But like, credit for what tho?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Take your time.

"You're a woman. By birthright, you're allowed to take your time." -Kamilah, pole & twerk instructor

BOOKS! (Why We Came to the City) - proof

This is the second-to-last uncorrected proof that I got from the bookstore break room, and it seemed mildly interesting. I'd wanted this book enough to take it for myself, but truthfully I wasn't all that excited to crack it open. When I looked it over  my first thought was, Great. Yet another work created about New York City, focusing exclusively on hip white 20-somethings. Woo. hoo. How. original. I almost stopped reading it because I assumed it'd be uninteresting, but this novel surprised me!

Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma
(on sale February 16, 2016)

My assumption when skimming the title and synopsis was that I'd be reading about this group of college friends and NYC transplants clumsily but earnestly following their dreams, while conquering their respective quarter-life crises during the Great Recession. The book is even punctuated by poetic interludes  ("Why We Came to the City", "Why We Left the City", and "The City That Is") about New York City and how living there has changed them. But this novel is also a little more serious than that. Readers are immersed in this group's long-standing friendship, and how each person's character, priorities, and disappointments are brought to the surface when they must collaborate to support one of them who is fighting cancer.

Part 1 introduces the characters and sets us up for this tragedy. We have Irene, an artist and assistant at an art gallery, with a suspicious spot under her left eye. We have her best girl friend Sara, a type-A editor and socialite. We have George, Irene's friend and Sara's boyfriend, an astronomer who likes to keep the peace. We have Jacob, George's poet bestie and the too-cool rebel of the group, known for his intelligent snark and strong opinions. And lastly there's William, an easygoing Korean-American investment banker and the only native New Yorker in this ensemble. He was a vague acquaintance of the group in college and is still madly in love with Irene after all this time, despite not knowing her or any of the friends that well. Irene is the one that the other four have to rally around, and let me tell you. What sold me on this book is how Jansma writes about her passing. He so craftily and delicately weaves two moments together that we're not sure which one is real until the end. First he has us follow Irene as she escapes the hospital, refusing to die there, and walks freely through the city accompanied by winds. And then he splices that with scenes of her friends being called to the hospital to decide whether or not to take her off life support, revealing that Irene is actually in a coma. And rather than following Irene's escape, we've actually been walking with her through the last moments of her life, in her mind.

Part 2 Gives each of the remaining characters a chapter to meander through the year and some change that follow Irene's passing. I won't say any more than that; I feel like I've already given away a lot. What I will say is that as much as Sara, George, Jacob, and William loved Irene and as close as they'd become, turns out there was a lot they didn't know about her. Like where she came from. Who and where her family was, if she even had any. Her real name. She carried those secrets with her to the grave. As settled as she seemed to be, as hard as she loved the people around her, she was a drifter who belonged to no one. But what's redeeming about all this is that her friends loved her back so fiercely that they didn't feel the need to ask too many questions. And no one in the group can completely get over her once she's gone.

So I would say that Why We Came to the City is more a novel about friendship more than anything else. There's the cancer subplot and the relentless pressure of the quarter-life crisis. There's frequent emphasis on the meaning and function art, poetry, literature. But it's Irene and what she means to each of her friends that allows them to pull together when they need to, and to keep moving forward when it's time to do so. I didn't have high expectations, but this is really a beautiful book. At least give it a good flip-through once it's released!

Favorite quotes:
"William, you are a person! You possess, within you, a personality. A personality that can─no, which must─be expressed in the things that surround you!...They mean that you aren't a page twelve, William Cho!" (89).
"and I guess it sucks that it's always going to be a little harder for you than for other people, and you'll have to stay on your medication, and sometimes you're still going to see a homeless guy on the street or something and it's going to break you heart, and you'll want to crawl under a rock somewhere and hide everything good that you've got to offer from the world because it's going to seem like the world doesn't deserve it, but I promise it does─" (308-9).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Priya.

Priya was 24 and had gone through some things. Eventually she got tired of fighting, so she prepared a letter and a fundraising page to help her family after the fact. And now she's gone.

I am 23, and I am devastated. Because I read the story and her letter, and I've been exactly where she's been. What happened to her in her life may have differed from what happened to me in mine, but I know those depths. I know how encompassing that darkness can be. It's hard to recover from hopelessness. I was up at 6:30 this morning crying to my mom about this. I don't think I've cried this hard for someone I don't know since Charleston 9. It's just like when I learned about Karyn Washington's passing. It hurts.

It hurts because she didn't make it. Like she was me or could've been me, and her not making it means "we" or "one of us" didn't make it, and I really wish she could've stuck around. I wish she would've made it.

I don't know you, but I love you, my sister Priya. I know how much you were hurting and how hard you tried. And even though you didn't make it through, you left behind something good and beautiful. Peace be upon you and your family. Rest.