I think this is the first time where I didn't plan to write anything. I usually have mental notes in my head and I start typing but this I couldn't really prepare for so fuck it. I'm a just type raw. My Uncle Ken passed away June 7th, 2016. A friend of mine was killed June 9th, 2016. My mind is really all over the place so just bare with me. It'll take me thousands of years to find enough words to say about my Uncle Ken.
My mom is yells to me "They can't wake your Uncle Ken up!" She's running frantically all over the place. I wrote a status on Facebook about "Hope" and how "Hope" doesn't work and it's like admitting defeat before you even start. I wrote that I think maybe a hour or 2 before. When she yelled the news to me. I kneeled down and prayed for my Uncle to be okay but I couldn't get through. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't complete the prayer and once that happened I said to myself. "I hope Unc is okay." It hit me right there. I knew before I got into the car that my uncle was gone. The whole ride I was just mentally preparing myself for the heartbreak and all my loved ones tears. Once I resorted to "Hope" I knew his mission in this life was completed. The universe just works that way. I couldn't ignore the signs.
I couldn't stop thinking about my Aunt Terri and my cousins (her daughters) the whole ride over to my Uncle's apartment. Especially my Aunt. She lost her mother and her husband in under a year. 2 huge pillars in her life are physically gone. I got out and seen the tears and it was finally official. I broke down when I called my brother to tell him the news. The last time I spoke to my brother was in a argument. I apologized. My Uncle wouldn't want us beefing with each other. He wouldn't have that shit. After I got off the phone with my brother I told myself that this was the last time I'd shed tears for my Uncle Ken and the last time I'd have my head down for my Uncle Ken. I know his spirit somewhere clowning all of us for this crying shit. We can't help it. He touched a lot of people. He was literally the rock of this family. I went home. Drove to the gas station. Got me some Crown. Played "The Chronic" by Dr.Dre and just vibed out and poured up for my Unc liked he would want me to.
I'm not looking forward to his funeral. They say funerals supposed to be a celebration but they never feel that way. I don't like them because I hate seeing people I love in pain. Shit, if my Uncle had a say he'd probably want it to be quick then have a big ass bbq in his honor with big drank, and everybody talking about the good times. He was never really the sad type. He was always strong. Never folded. 2 years ago when his health was getting bad I was mentally prepared for him to leave us. My mom was too. She was really torn up about it but my Unc was a fighter in every sense of the word. He held on and kept living. He wasn't the same physically but his spirit was still so high. Either way I was glad he got through that storm.
The thing I respected about my Uncle was that he'd go all out for family. In my 30 years on earth I don't think I ever heard him tell his daughters "No." My Aunt Terri always had to. My cousins were true daddies girls. He'd do anything for the family. My momma was forever calling him over to fix something and he'd come running in a heartbeat. No complaints. He drove to Seattle, Washington from St.Louis in a snowstorm for my momma too. I remember I loaned him a lot of money and he said "Nephew, give me a couple weeks and I'll have it back to you." He stayed true to his word and paid me back but he gave me double what I loaned him. I told him he gave me too much and he said "Keep It." That was my Unc. Money had no value to him. That can be a good or a bad thing but if you asked for something he'll try and go get it for you even if that means he'd have to be broke. As long as you were happy he was happy. Just ask his daughters. He'd give his life to make sure you're straight.
These family functions won't be the same anymore. You knew when Unc was in the room. He had that kind of presence. He had no filter. Always spoke his mind. Had the funniest laugh I ever heard. I won't look at noodles the same or chicken and rice the same. Spend just a few minutes with my Unc and he would have you rolling or you'd learn something very real from him. He was one of the most well rounded humans you'd ever meet. Very Smart. Insightful. Funny. Always told you he loved you after every conversation. I'm glad he would call me and ask me how everything going and say he's proud of me. I remember me and my Unc shared a hotel room for a family reunion and all we did the whole weekend was drink a bunch of Henny, crack jokes, and he told me stories about my grandma, my grandfather (his biological and stepfather) and his brothers and sisters. The love and protection he had for his siblings was so genuine. You would think he was the first born. He would say shit like "When I was little yo momma used to beat my ass, then when Kevin was born I'd beat his ass, and so on and so on but we protect each other, that's how our family is." He was forever funny. I understood all of my family better because of him. You could give him the name of any of his relatives and he could breakdown what makes them special, they're personality, everything.
Growing up I was a lot closer to my cousins. We're like brothers and sisters. We basically all grew up together at our Granny house. We were always together. Shit, we even had professional pictures taken together. Lately I'll take the blame for the disconnect. I'm never really around and I will change that but when we were kids we were always mobbing together. My mom, uncles, and aunts made sure that we were close. My unc was tough on all of us in regards of surviving in life. If I cried in front of him he would be quick to tell me "Quit being a punk." He told me to never fear no man on this earth. Fight like a man. He showed me how to shoot a gun. When I thought I was having my first baby he talked to me about being careful out here with women and how to spot the real ones. When I told him I started eating healthier he laughed his ass off and told me "I remember when you used to eat that weak ass Cream Of Wheat when you was little." He always made fun of me for eating Cream Of Wheat. My cousins eat cereal but I didn't because I didn't like milk so of course when I would spend the night at my uncle Ken house all he'd have is cereal. He'd make us a big breakfast though. I always liked going over to my unc crib when I was a kid because he always had soda over there. My parents not big soda drinkers but my Unc kept Pepsi or Vess over there.
Can't really pinpoint what I will miss most about my Unc. From watching him play softball or dominoes. Cracking jokes. Kevin or him having fish fry's for the family at their house playing all the latest music at the time. From Dre to Cube to Scarface. All the hats he would wear. Majority of them STL hats or Pittsburgh Pirates hats. His love for chucks. Him yelling "NEPHEW!!" every time he saw me. He rarely said my name, it was always "What it do Nephew." The stories I would hear about him. He was forever fighting somebody but he always had a reason to. The sports talks we would have. We both loved Boxing and Football. Calling my dad magazines "Yuppie Magazines." The birthday gifts he would always get me. He got me my first Jean Jacket Suit when they was in style. I got so many girls off that fit. My Unc had me laced in the streets. He was such a special man.
One of our last convos together we were talking about traveling and we were drinking Remy. I told him "You shouldn't be drinking that." I was really worried about his health. I'm so used to my Unc moving fast. Talking fast. He was only 52 but what he been through health wise the past few years it was like his body was 72. I wanted him to slow down. He said "I ain't going nowhere" and kept drinking. I laughed. His spirit was still so youthful. That was my Unc. He lived this life shit on his terms and he wanted all of us to do the same. Nobody could tell him different. He wanted to live his way no matter what the outcome was.
The world lost a real one. No faking if he was involved. A St.Louis legend. Hoodstar. A black superhero to me. A great father and grandfather. A great husband. He treated his nieces and nephews like they were his own kids. Treated his cousins like brothers and sisters. If you were considered family to him blood or not he rode for you. No questions asked. This planet got 52 years of the real thanks to Kenneth Clark. I love you Unc. We will miss you and we will make sure your legacy lives on forever and forever after that. Thank you.