Posts Tagged ‘Family’


Here is the final part of my experience of losing my father in “Losing Dad.”

The week of March 5th was indeed approaching. And with the coming days of the funeral, it was going to get tough to declare my father heaven bound.

Most of that was of me looking at movies like Higher Learning when Malik (played by Omar Epps) and Professor Phibbs (played by Laurence Fishburne) were talking about the recent shooting on campus, and Malik perservered throughout the madness. Nearly at the end of the conversation, Professor shouted, MALIK! And quoted this from a famous African American: “Without struggle there can be no longer progress.” And Malik responded, “Frederick Douglass.” Final word from the Professor: “Right.” Later on the scene of Any Given Sunday when the coach talked about the inches pep talk. But most of that was gearing towards Rocky V when Rocky himself visited Mick’s old gym and hearing him and Mick going over the boxing moves before the title fight. Mick’s advice (played by Burgess Meredith whom was Penguin from the old Batman Shows) telling Rocky about being prepared for the fight, and his words of when we losing our friends and family members, and Mick didn’t have a reason to go on. But when he looked at Rocky, he had a reason to move forward. It was a scene I played about three times and getting a “wave of emotion” dealing with the loss of Dad. That felt real. And it has.

March 9th, 2017 was the hurdle of that. Before many of the public was open to the viewing of Dad at the Williamson Funeral Home, myself along with my mother and Aunt had our private moment. It was very sad. Seeing my 69 year old father lying in the casket. Heartbreaking. Tough. No matter what you call it, it wasn’t felt right at all. I said that day that I got his back. And plus he still inspires me. He helped me out, my sister out, he served this country and many others. I said, “thank you, Dad. THANK YOU!” Too bad my sister couldn’t make it to the visitation due to her health concerns, but being the representative that I am, I had to pinch hit. Dad was decorated well. Including the suit he wore along with him being in the silver diplomatic casket with the Stars and Stripes of the flag being displayed. The flowers with the themed red, white, and blue were on each side with the US Army Flag in the background. The American Flag was draped slightly towards the right by not touching the floor. After we had our moment, our guests and family members visited us as they offered condolences and sympathies. We also had guests from his old high school of North Division to come out to visit us. Old neighbors, friends, my pastor, relatives on both sides to come for a visit. Even current and former members of my church, my mother’s Alumni and Sorority came along. They came to show the support of us.

Later on in the visit, my pastor asked for prayer, and then I was given a chance to speak on my Dad’s behalf. I address the family and guests as a way to kick off the sharing of the memories. Most of the references that I summarized was from the funeral bulletin in which I highlighted the graduations, special events, and others. It was called “Final Salute to my Father.” Even also he matched my church salary in which to him to help me out to support. Even about if the Packers played, being the victors or losers. And the lasting thing I summarized the statement as a “Veteran’s Son” in which I am. I said to my family that he, was the last one. But I also said to my 1st Cousins espeicially that we have to step up. It’s our turn now. We have to be there for our children. If we don’t tell the stories, then who will? After that, I thanked the guests coming out and thakning them for their support.

Other neighbors and friends summarized my father in similar ways after I spoke. And the end of that, and exiting out of the funeral, I told my father that “I’ll see you tomorrow” with tapping the casket.

Then came the day. March 10th, 2017. This was the day of my father’s funeral. Hard to swallow on this. When my family arrived at the church, we had to set up some pictures and a portrait of him when he was in the military. Also displayed a booklet of some of his best projects he done over the years. We had a short visitation when the guests were coming in as well as my cousins and aunts from my Dad’s side came in to greet my mother and I. My former pastor, a Vietnam Veteran himself came along with his wife for support. Before the last 10 minutes were up, my mother got emotional knowing that this was the last time we see Dad. And as we approached the casket for the last time at the church, we said our goodbyes, our thank yous,  and I promised to make sure that my mother and sister will be safe. And I have his back. My final promise to him is my solemn vow that I had to be that next person to support.

As the service continued, there had been many references that were summarized. A representative from the North Shore Post Office, was the first to speak and remininced about my father’s work, involvement with food drives, his relationship among workers, and of course his Corvette. My former pastor talked about his viewpoint in terms of war stories, and similar issues dealing with knee problems! My younger cousin (a millennial mind you) was the next to summarize our family and the sympathies to support. Finally my Aunt had to pitch in for my sister, but the poem she read, was titled: “My Daddy”.

My Daddy
I sit and look back to how far I can remember,
And you are always there next to me.
Each and Everyday you were helping me to grow up,
And making me be the best that I can be.

Your love was forever strong,
Your cuddles forever tight.
Everyday since I was born,
Your love was always in sight.

I will always be your Baby Girl,
And you will always be My Daddy.
I know I will always be the luckiest,
To have the best Dad any girl could have had.

My Daddy I love you with all my heart,
Much more than I could ever say.
You are my world, my everything,
Each and Everyday.
Written by Ranja Kujala July, 2009

The similarity with the poem, also resonates the feeling that my sister got word of losing Dad. We know the connections between Fathers and Daughters are inseparable. Very different from my father and son talks. No matter the pain or feeling, it was all around. And love for my father was deeply felt.

The eulogy of my father talked about forgiveness, love for one another, and a subject called “unfinished business.” The pastor highlighted the room that he saw my father that featured his easel of an oil drawing from 1991, and of course his video collections on the wall with a Wide Screen TV (BIG) in the center. The pastor also commented about a staircase, in which his spirit and Jesus would meet. At the end of the service, we gathered our things as we exited the church. But here was the shocker. When we were in the line to leave, we saw more folks packing the church as if it was like, how this happened?! First it was small, then it was large. And yes, there were members of the clergy mostly ministers who knew my Dad came out for the support. Talk about leaving a mark.

We headed to the limos and made a hour trek to the cemetery in Union Grove, Wisconsin. As we gathered in the area to meet up, we were greeted by the cemetery staff and leaders to go over my Dad’s gravemarker, featuring quotes and a symbol of the United Methodist Church. Then after we (my mother and I) went over the committal portion to summarize how it will go in the almost 6 minute session. From the music of the Army Song, the honor guard saluting the casket on both sides, the Marine Veterans on the outside in formation of the 21 gun salute and the Folding of the flag. Plus the bullets and coin were handed to my mother.

For The Committal portion, review the entire video below courtesy of my recording.

 

I had to say that the Committal was the highlight of my Dad’s service. This made me realize I am even more proud to be a Veteran’s Son! Being a Veteran’s Son is not some made up badge overnight. It’s a way of life to actively say that I salute his service, and will continue to tell the stories that will live on in me. It’s not just a catch-phrase, that is a promise! Nevermind all the negative hoopla about war, viewpoints and politics. Even bold consciousness. I’m proud of the fact that my father did that by serving. I respect him for that and yes there will  be more my Veteran support in my house! No I didn’t serve, (don’t hate me on that), but I’m just darn proud that his decorated standard was just that: Good! Mostly with family members that had indeed served! Yes, my father served in an unpopular war in Vietnam, and mentioning to my mother way back that when we came back home to the States, he said “that the world turned dark.” I remember him saying that there was no recognition for Vietnam Vets like him that never got the welcome thing like the military has now. Of course NOW, they are getting their respect years later. But why not then! One of job duties was a Helicopter Gunner, and one of his accommodations was the Bronze Star Medal.

As the service ended, we exited the chapel with the honor guards saluting us. Plus one of the Marine Veterans whom did the 21 gun salute, greeted my mother and I. Even though the Marine Veteran didn’t knew my father, he commented that “It was an honor for me to this.” That was real talk. Even though, he was an older caucasian man, but he did that for a black Vietnam Veteran that was honored for his service as a SP5. On the way back to the church for the repast, I had to put on my music on my cell phone. I chose the music to play of “Nighshift” by The Commordores in which was one of my Dad’s favorites.  Another was “I’ll Be Rested” by Mavis Staples, and plus a Nina Simone favorite, of “I Shall Be Released.” That song of course was a highlight favorite from watching Scandal.

The Lessons and Aftermath

In the later days, we still had our ups and downs, some things have become a little harder with now the three of us running the show. And I’m the man of the house now. But knowing the supporting cast has been uplfifted, and new standards have been updated with new accountabilty. Make no mistake, my family, my McClinton Family is still alive. We are still here. And yes that even though that our 10 members that are no longer here, wtih my father being the last one, we (the next era in the family) must do is what I said to my mother: we have to stay in the fight. And like in scripture: So it was written. So it shall be done.

Were holding on and still in the struggle.


For many years, I have posted so many tweets as a annual review. This year, Twitter was up to some Analytical data reviews in which they record the tweets that got the most views.

So for this year, I have highlighted the best tweets from the arsenal in which stood out. Oh, this would be a chance to see which tweets stood out for you if you have Twitter.

January: Check in CST! !

February: 9-6. That is all. Get the resumes out. .

A well deserved final salute for my cousin Russell Drew.

 

March:  Limousine ridin’ Jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheeling dealin’……….

One of my best pics with the Nikon. By the way, I’m doing this again!

 

April: A Sesame Street/Empire Crossover.

Happy Easter!

May:  Damarious Randall: Welcome to the . Grab a jacket for the cold battles in the .

June: And another one…Curry.

July:  Looking at that was at the . Let’s see what happened.

Happening now.

August: “Sometimes we do things uncomprehensive.” Sermon quote.

It’s on FB, but I’ll share it here also.

September:  I’m assuming that got the W by now.

October : Got Diana Ross’ “Upside Down” in the background.

November : Yeah I know. by 7. be energized!

December: 39!!!!!!! Thank you God! Hello !

Welp, that B-Day of mine, is coming. Under an hour, lol!

 


The first Decade of the 2010’s was a harsh one. But also in other ways a good start for the year. I had a chance to get  a new schedule job change, volunteer and work for my Alumni Folks, help my church to “Rethink”, won my case of my Saxophone and getting an unexpected check from Reed vs Dresser Settlement Claims. And like every other year, 2010 and I had some losses. Tough losses.

The Good:

Rethink Church. Especially my church.

Juneteenth Day in Wisconsin became a State Holiday. It’ s real now, not even Scott Walker or the haters can’t touch it.

Milwaukee’s African World Festival returns with a one day festival in August. – Which is my “Favorite Comeback Event of the year”. After being out of the spotlight for two years financially.

Alumni Check ins: Had a chance to return to my High School Reunion, College and University Alumni Functions and workshops. Big ups to Milwaukee’s John Marshall High School Class of 1990-2000 Reunions, the Milwaukee Area Technical College and University of Wisconsin-Stout Alumni Associations.

Eugene Kane and James Causey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. At least they tell some good news.

Wisconsin Badgers Football. 2010 Big Ten Champs.

Wisconsin establishments are now Smoke Free! So I can go to a club and be healthy at the same time. The haters on the other hand don’t think it’s an idea. What’cha been smoking?

Brandon Jennings had a good season with the Bucks.

The Green Bay Packers with or without Aaron Rodgers. And with Clay Matthews!

Milwaukee had received 2 WWE Smackdown Events at the Bradley Center in the year.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Nikyla Harris became the new Supervisor of Milwaukee’s District 2 area replacing Toni Clark.

For me: I had some good pointers in 2010 in which was personal. My saxophone that I owned for 21 years,  was under siege by a local music shop which they thought it was stolen, but there was no proof of that of being stolen. However it was returned to me no charge. And in October, I was awarded a check over 5 grand with the Reed vs Dresser Settlement Case which had a problem of hiring, training  and taking in Wisconsin African-American Applicants. For all you companies out there, you better be careful of not hiring blacks because it might bite you big!

Health Care Reform! – Good.  And so the haters began to complain.

Shani Davis winning the Gold Medal in Speed-skating – AGAIN!

Mo’Nique winning an Oscar Award. – Don’t Hate!

New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl.

Brett Favre’s Streak of 297 games – Over. And was looking at 2 losses against the Packers.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – IS OVER! Let them serve openly.

Keith Olbermann for attacking the Tea Party, the Shirley Sherrod Case, and the question “Where are the people of color at the Tea Parties?”

Bill Maher – enough said.

In Music: No I didn’t listen to Justin Bieber and other folks. I listened to Cypress Hill, Diddy Dirty Money, Eminem, The Roots, Toni Braxton, Ice Cube, Michael Jackson’s new joint, Faith Evans, and a bunch of Old School stuff that took me back in the day before Lil Wayne’s and TI’s prison terms.

Windows Phone 7

In Movies: Iron Man 2, The A-Team, The Karate Kid (2010 Version), Machete, Get Him to The Greek, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Faster – which has a Milwaukee connection. And for the record: NO SOCIAL NETWORK!

NBA Jam made a comeback. And Call of Duty: Black Ops was a hit!

On TV: Real Milwaukee – that show is hilarious! WWE, Real Time, True Blood, Entourage, Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, & The Ed Show.

I also met new folks on Facebook, a local Black fraternity, and sent over 2,000 tweets on twitter.

The NAACP for standing up to the Tea Party and telling them to repudiate (not refudiate) their racist elements.

Milwaukee gained new stations in HD – A country music station, and a retro station that shows nothing but old school shows.

The Bad:

I need to put this on the top of the list: Ron Johnson and Scott Walker. And my opinion, Tom Barrett and Russ Feingold shouldn’t have lost under the so-called Wisconsin Tea Party folks!

The Tea Party. And not to forget the “Don’t Tread on Me” Flags, and those wished that it was the American Revolution all over again.

Michael Steele.

TeaParty365.

TSA.

The Fox 6 Milwaukee Blog site. I’ll  miss that the most.

The blizzard on the East Coast. Hey, we Midwesterner folks know that all too well.

Folks rushing to the stores to buy the Ipad. It’s not that serious!

Andrew Breitbart and his “stories” of Shirley Sherrod footages with the NAACP.

Sarah Palin.

Alveda King. – She needs a reality check of her famous uncle!

Glenn Beck.

Charlie Sykes and any right wing news hack in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Brewers – don’t hate. If they start winning more,  they will be on my good list.

Atlanta Hawks Player Josh Smith of his comment about Milwaukee in general.

Black owned restaurants in Milwaukee of Stella’s, The Bayou, and Manna House all forced to close up shop. This is one example of why the black (and I mean BLACK) businesses is in need of constant support.

When will Nintendo Wii and EA Sports ever get it with Madden?

Brass Bell Music in Glendale, WI. See my For me post.

Dresser Waukesha for not hiring and training African-Americans in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin and the “boondoggle/It will never work/brain-drain syndrome” – and letting go 810 Million Dollars of High Speed Rail and the jobs. That was a waste.  And Talgo is moving out in 2012 leaving a maintenance base. Wow Scott Walker, and Wisconsin Tax-Payers. Thank you morons for making sure that the state stays behind. Disgusted.

A bar in Wisconsin that refused blacks as patrons. Don’t that send us back even more?!

Haiti Earthquake.

BP Oil Spill.

The flood in Milwaukee that the city didn’t had in over 100 years. Crazy. And remember that sinkhole!

Milwaukee is ranked 4th as poorest in the nation, and it’s still segregated. And the crazy JSOnline folks who spend too much time on the columns of Eugene Kane and others still don’t understand. Are they too broke to work or go to school? My God!

Milwaukee is number 1! ( in Drinking).

Crazy and UGLY!!!!:

What is up with Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach and folks of all colors can’t get along? And again, there are those in Milwaukee who see the blacks as thugs? When will I get my chance? When?!  And when will Milwaukee will get out of the 1975/1980’s “all day everyday” syndrome?

Conan O’Brien leaves the Tonight Show and re-enters Jay Leno. Meanwhile months later, Conan goes to TBS.

Back in the spring, when the Milwaukee Bucks were in the playoffs, the term “Fear The Deer” became a reality when a heard of deer crashed a bar in Menomonie during the game.

I became a “hater victim” on Youtube.  If you want to know, well it was about this jobber named superstr5 or whatever his name was, thought I was lying about going to a wrestling match in 1996.  Hello, I got the ticket stub at home to prove this! Let this be a warning to everyone: I’m not here to get cracked on. If you got a bone to pick on, pick on somebody else. One thing for sure, I did reported the incident on youtube. AND I MEAN on YOUTUBE!

The High Speed Rail Project was first halted by Gov. Jim Doyle, then was the setup by Scott Walker to scrap it.  Again: A Waste.

On the lighter side of things time to reflect on those we lost:

Teena Marie – you younger bucks better recognize real music instead of being a pretty face.

Laurie Bembenek

Leslie Neilsen

Lena Horne

Gary Coleman

Barbara Billingsby

George Steinbrenner

Rue McClanahan

Dixie Carter

Teddy Pendergrass

Locally where I’m at: I lost those who were close –

Forrest Rash

Rev. Jodie Joiner

Ethel Richards

Dorothy McGuin

and two I felt were family: Sabrina Junior who was my cousin was murdered in August.  This was a disgusting act of violence that effected my family, my younger cousins who will not see their mother again. And my family had the family dog we called “boo-bear” had be put to sleep because of age illness. We were blessed to have her as a dog. We took her in our home, fed her, played with her and just took her in as family. We thanked God for her 14 years (98 dog years) she has given us.

2010 was a rough start.  But I think 2011 will be an improvement of better beginnings, healing, and outcomes.