Growing up, one of my favorite memories was staying up late Saturday night listening to music in the den with my father. We would spend hours enjoying the greats such as Sam Cooke, The Supremes and The OJays. I was a kid with lots of questions. My dad let the music do his talking.
The great Nat King Cole was another one of my daddy’s favorites. I learned to love “Unforgettable,” “Route 66″ and “Sentimental Reasons” with him.
I will never forget when I finally had a contribution to these late night conversations. It was when my daddy bought my first record ever, a 45 by Natalie Cole featuring “Our Love” and “La Costa.”
I was so proud to own MY first piece of the magic called music. As a little black girl, Natalie Cole was everything I wanted to grow up to be…talented, beautiful and amazing. But she was even more than that to me. She was her daddy’s little girl, just like I was mine. Somehow, I felt like the four of us connected, two dads and their daughters.
Yesterday when I learned of her passing, it saddened me even more as it was the anniversary of my father’s death. I immediately pulled out my laptop and played “Our Love.”
The lady and her music will always hold a special place for me. Her voice was the melody on my “first date nights” with my first love, when I started to learn the value of what I bring to the table. She will be forever missed.
My father was one of my greatest teachers. He taught me the meaning of sacrifice, the wisdom of reserving judgment and the value of hard work. He didn’t just teach me, he made me. Everything good that I am can in some way be traced to my father and everything good that I am not, is surely due to me missing a lesson.
The last lesson he taught me was on January 1, 1999 when he died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the age of 52. Like most, I started the day with the excitement that comes with the promise, or at the very least hope of a new beginning. The next day would begin with the sadness and despair that one feels when looking for the shore while riding the roughest waves in the darkest night. My daddy was gone…I had lost my way.
On January 1, 1999, I had plans, goals and dreams. On January 2nd, I struggled to find a reason that any of them mattered. It would be an entire year before I could sleep through the night again. Daily, I would wake at around 3 AM and sit in the stillness of my quiet bedroom. I was alone in a way that I had never been before.
Every New Year, I experience the same emotions. The intensity varies, but they are the same. I am excited about what the next twelve months will bring. I look forward to seeing how God will move and what He will do. My heart leaps with the vision of fulfilling my purpose. I await the manifestation of answered prayers.
But the moment will come…it always comes. The moment when my emotions fall off a cliff and take a 1,000-foot drop because I realize that no matter what beautiful things happen to me or for me…He’s not here. My daddy is gone.
When that moment comes, my emotions seem to shatter under the weight of loneliness. Because I know that the man who loved me first, longest and best is gone. I cry tears from the core of my soul. My heart aches with a pain the strongest narcotics can’t silence and I will want to quit. But I will remember what his last lesson taught me, what his life showed me. Regardless of what I face, what is in me is stronger than what is against me. And even when I think I can’t make it. I must go on.
I don’t know where you are this first day of 2016, but I want to tell you that the presence of failure does not mean there is no hope. Just because there is pain, doesn’t mean there isn’t promise. The conditions of your present, don’t determine the status of your future. Some of life’s greatest gifts come wrapped in our lowest and darkest moments.
I will laugh today and I will cry today. I am excited about what will come, but I hurt for what has gone. I miss the man who loved me most, but I’m hopeful for the one who will love me next. I will feel lonely, but I know that I am loved. For a fleeting second, I will feel like giving up, but I won’t. I won’t give up because a purpose-filled life is worth living and no matter how much it hurts…it goes on. And yes, I believe with all that I am and in all that Christ is… it gets better!
A freak plane crash in the Bahamas claimed nine lives Sunday, including prominent pastor Dr. Myles Munroe and his wife Pastor Ruth. Coach Felicia, a motivational speaker and mentee of Munroe, and Pastor Kevin Harris, who coordinated Munroe’s speaking events join Arise America in remembering the influential pastor and motivational speaker. @AskCoachFelicia @AriseTV
From Coach Felicia
On November 9, 2014 at 5:10 PM my life changed forever. It was at that moment that the world lost one of it’s greatest leaders, the church lost one of it’s greatest preachers… and I personally lost someone who believed me, in the darkest moments of my life when I did not believe in myself.
In the words of my spiritual father,
One Year from Her Crowning Moment as “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker,” Depression Overcomer & ESSENCE.com Contributor Coach Felicia Returned to eWomenNetwork’s Stage to Share Her Message of Empowerment
CUT THE C-R-A-P!
YES…You can move forward instead of constantly feeling stuck! Your life and business don’t have to move in a series of starts and stops as you sputter along the highway of life. You can THRIVE! It starts by getting over the things and people that have been getting over on you! It’s time to Cut the C-R-A-P!
Coach Felicia shows you how to detox your life and business with her 4-step Cut the C-R-A-P System! Participants learn how to:
1. Build productive and powerful alliances that propel you into your dreams.
2. Redefine your failures so they become the greatest investments in your success.
3. Stay connected to your passions so you can thrive in the down times.
4. Increase your overall productivity with clarity and focus.
ABOUT COACH FELICIA
Certified Empowerment Coach™ Felicia was selected from 1,000+ speakers, to become eWomenNetwork’s first “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker.” Touted as one of “today’s leading motivational speakers” by ESSENCE magazine, she teaches entrepreneurs and professionals to “Turn their Worth into Wealth” by showing them how to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO their WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH.
In over 10 years working with Fortune 500 executives, business leaders, and entrepreneurs she has helped thousands through her speaking, coaching and writing to unlock their strengths, live fearless, expand their leadership, strengthen their performance and, enjoy authentic and effective communication. She has been invited to share her message across various media platforms, including Dallas Morning News, The Miami Herald, Heart & Soul, KDFW’s “Good Day,” WFAA-TV’s “Good Morning Texas,” BET, WABC-TV’s “Here and Now,” SiriusXM’s “The B.Smith and Thank You, Dan Show” and more.
An overcomer of depression, the author of THRIVE! and a weekly contributor to ESSENCE.com reaches a weekly audience of over 1 million with her message of “Discover…Do and Define!” Visit Coach Felicia at coachfelicia.com and follow her @AskCoachFelicia.