As We Usher in a New Year Let Us Not Forget The Angels of 2011!
Soon we will all be singing Auld Lang Syne as that mighty crystal ball drops in New York City ushering in the New Year with all of its chances, goals and mystique. That is the moment. That is the second on this earth every year when you are looking ahead to another three hundred and sixty-five days and thinking about all the amazing things that could occur. At that one moment in time everything is still fresh and new, and absolutely anything is possible. If you’re an entrepreneur, perhaps this is the year that you will open that long-awaited business and become bigger than Trump, himself. Perhaps you will write the next bestselling novel and your name will be mentioned by the media in the same sentence as, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and the beloved J.K. Rowling. Perhaps you will sing out the words to Auld Lang Syne so amazingly that the whole wide world will stop to listen because you’ve just proven that you are the next Justin Bieber or, god willing, you’ll be good enough to become as great an artist as Lil’ Mirkk. That’s the moment of sheer nirvana where you look forward to being the ‘best of the best’ in 2012.
But there is something that also happens at that moment, and is the basis of the song you will be singing; the rhetorical question of whether or not it is right that ‘old times be forgotten.’ The answer? Absolutely not. This old song is a call – a shout out to the ones you love. These lyrics remind you of the friends who have stood beside you during your toughest times, and the family members that were so precious in your life who have now been taken up to Heaven to run free in the fields with St. Francis and his animals. The losses that 2011 brought to many were difficult – more than a few hearts were broken. But those ‘days gone by,’ and the people who graced us with their presence and left our world far too soon, should most definitely be remembered and coveted for all time.
Her given name was Dejuan Rene Smith, but she preferred to be called Deyon by her friends and family. She was loved beyond belief for her charm, her huge heart, her giving soul, and one of the most beautiful smiles that God ever created. This twenty-year-old girl with true spirit had gone through some rough patches, but she was now looking forward to an upcoming marriage; a new life for Deyon and her beloved fourteen-month-old daughter, Aapple Anderson. Aapple was, in fact, the ‘apple’ of her whole family’s eye and she inherited her beautiful, stunning smile from her mother. The family unit was going to grow even bigger, as Deyon was five months pregnant with a child that would bring even more love and life into her world.
Reba Wilson is Deyon’s mother (another who shares that huge heart and soul that the world needs more of), and she and Deyon had that special bond that only a mother and daughter can share. The love, pride, and faith that comes when you look into your daughter’s eyes can never be explained or duplicated – it is just that perfect miracle the angels above bestow upon two people who need each other to ‘take on the world.’
Joel Rose, Deyon’s older brother, had nicknames for his sister and his niece. Deyon was ‘Nee-Nee Nay-Nay,’ and his beloved Aapple is, ‘Luv Bug.’ When Joel talks about his sister, you can hear the love in his voice: We would stay on the phone ‘til 3 A.M. and talk. She was so talented and I was trying my best to get her into the industry with me, but she was so shy…
The bond that this family shared was stronger than anything in this world – tough, unbreakable and eternal. But on July 29th, 2011, that bond was tested in a way that would cause most families to fall apart. That was the night when young Deyon’s life was taken by a hit-and-run driver in Victorville, California. She was walking to Walmart, out to pick up some items for Aapple. Due to the summer heat and her pregnancy, she went out in the evening hours when the temperature wasn’t so high.
Pushing Aapple in her stroller, Deyon was speaking on the phone with her fiancé, most likely enjoying life and getting ready for that baby growing inside her belly to become a new adventure for her in 2012. Aapple was most likely smiling, enjoying her walk with Mom as she checked out her world along the way.
A stranger, a person who was paying no attention to their surroundings, was the culprit who took one of those amazing smiles out of this world for good. Deyon was killed instantly, as Aapple’s stroller went flying into the night. She, thankfully, was saved, but the mother and her unborn child instantly became two of the brightest angels that would ever grace the hallowed halls of Heaven.
This is a pain that strikes the heart so deeply – especially for a mother – that no words of comfort, or placement of blame, or prayers bring any sort of conclusion. Whether a grizzly bear or a human, the largest facet of being a Mom is our ability to protect our young. We would walk through fire for them, and destroy any enemy that did our child ‘wrong.’ But in a case like this, the Mom feels the pain even more than other family members because they weren’t even allowed the chance to stand in front of their child to save them. Reba Wilson lost her own angel that night, as well as a future grandchild that would bring more peace and harmony to her world. In a split second of time a person was responsible for killing two other souls, and that is so unbelievably wrong and horrific that there are simply no words.
Deyon’s brother, who’s better known as Lil’ Mirkk (the actor, musician and promoter of peace) went into a state of shock, as well. If not for the support of his closest friends, especially his ‘sis’ Casey, and his family, he would not have made it. You have that time of disbelief during this type of violent ending, where you feel as if you must be stuck in some horror movie, praying that the director will soon say ‘cut’ so that it will all go away and life will return to normal. Lil’ Mirkk had been scheduled to MC a show the following week and, even though he was in immense pain, he carried on because he knew that his sister would want him to. And as he says: She wasn’t there personally, but I felt her spirit.
That’s what it is…spirit; that spark of life inside each one of us that shines through our eyes when we see something truly amazing, or beams from our smiles as we get excited, happy and have faith that life is a magical, wondrous thing that just has to be lived.
But since none of us know how long we’ll have that chance at life, we must make sure that we live every single second of it! Deyon would want it that way.
Everyone has their story of loss – some quick, some tragic, some a slow, final bow as they move on to reunite with their loved ones who have gone before. But the memories of each day, each second that we had with them, need to never be forgotten. They need to be cherished; stories need to be told of the person they were; the wisdom they offered needs to be passed down to the next generation; and, the humorous moments that we were lucky enough to be a part of, as well as the sheer spirit that they brought into our lives has to be remembered.
So as this New Year comes to pass and we gear up for a 2012 that we hope will be filled with luck, light, and laughter, we must always remember the beauty of the people who touched our lives and gave us the gift of their perfect smile.
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne…
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared,
since auld lang syne.
And here’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
Have a Safe and Blessed New Year
Until Next Time, Everybody.