Family - The Fuel for a Happy Life

I am a fortunate man because I was lucky to have had beautiful children and a great family for the last 30 years. My family is why I get up every morning, my motivation to keep moving forward, and the fuel for my life.

I am excited about the idea of the family because, as a child, I had no experience of a family of my own. I was often a part of someone else's family, enjoying the love secondhand. So, when I had a chance to create my family, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and both feet. 

Over the years, I have adopted many people as family. My friend, Ronald Mclean, has been my brother for the last 60 years. We have supported each other through the good and the hard times, and we have built an unbreakable bond. Many other people have loved me and treated me like family even though we were not blood relatives. I will acknowledge a few people here, but these names are by no means a complete list: Althea Young, my math tea, her, and friend. Joyce McLean, my surrogate mother, will be 90 years old this year. I am going to celebrate this birthday with her next month in Jamaica. Fred and Harriette Furguson have been my friends for over forty years. Cipe Pineless  Burtin taught me some of my most valuable lessons. Keith Raniere, Pam Cafritz, Edgar Boone, Vera Autry, and Barbara Jeske are just a few of the people I recently adopted as family. I thank you all for being there for me.

I want to share a short story about someone I asked to be in my family when I taught at IBM in Los Angeles. I asked one of my colleagues, Elizabeth Wright if she would like to be the aunt of my three children because I had no brothers or sisters. Liz said yes, and she and her husband Jack became the aunt and uncle of Madison, Justin, and Jojo. We had an official ceremony where we adopted them into our family. Aunt Liz and Uncle Jack took this responsibility seriously; they would visit, bring presents for the kids, and were the best aunt and uncle any child could want. When Madison was involved in a project to fund his first album, Oblivion, Aunt Liz was his biggest supporter. Thank you, Liz, for being my sister.

I am a proud dad and relish all the accomplishments of my children. However, a few of my highlights were watching all three kids accept an undergraduate degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. I was also ecstatic to watch Jojo win the 200-meter dash as a Freshman in high school. I was so proud of Justin when he did his first television commercial and Madison when he released his first music album. These are moments; I will never forget.

Let me introduce my kids to you. Madison, my oldest son, is a musician, DJ, and model in Manhattan. My middle boy, Justin, is a Data Scientist, Economist, and model living in Brooklyn. Jo Elizabeth, my daughter, is a writer who works in publishing and resides in Brooklyn.

I will write much more about these beautiful people as this blog progresses. However, for now, I want to tell you their stories with pictures.