Death is a Beginning

It’s interesting to me when I speak about the topic death. 

I am typically an optimist. I’m the guy who really hates going to hospitals and funerals because they show a facet of life that I don’t like. When I think about my life, and death, I tell God that I want to live as full as I possibly can so that I can die empty with no more work to do or nothing left to give. 

However, there were a series of deaths that I experienced that pretty much rocked me to my core. 

The first one was my brother DeAnte’ Pierre Wilson, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Harlem.” 

Our connection was immediate, and as brothers we stayed up all night talking about the greatness of God and destiny. Though his gift of encouragement only extended to those who loved him, and he never learned how to encourage and empower himself in the same way. So he embarked upon tons of journeys and associations that literally drained him over time and led to his untimely death. I always say when he died, part of me died. There was a belief in good people and that they will always be here, that died when he died. 

But what began after his death was no longer needing a pep talk from him to do something great. I didn’t have to depend on him to remind me of who I was to do the damn thing. He used to always tel me, “Ulysses do you know who you are? You are a King!” Today DeAnte, I know that I am a king, so much so that I have “King” tattooed on my chest to remember this truth for an eternity. 

The second impactful death I experienced was my mentor Mulgrew Miller, the man that I met after being in NYC for only 3 weeks. Mulgrew appeared like an angel, and was so committed to me becoming a great musician and really studying this craft of jazz. Mulgrew also taught me something that completely mesmerized me. He was one of the most respected jazz musicians, and he had qualities that were unique for that that are in that field. He lived with such integrity and loyalty to his family, and also believed in unselfishly speaking life into the next generation. 

The 3rd  death, was a spiritual one for me. Many who know me well, know that at one point I had a Bible study and used to be a minister. When the difficulty of my previous marriage was at its height, I felt that it was hard for me to minister to others, when my home was out of order. So, the plan was to pause weekly Bible studies and continue at a later date. When I paused that Bible study, there was a ripple affect within friendships and family relationships that essentially caused things to never be the same with that group. The impact has still affected me to this day, and felt like a death. 

I was speaking to a friend who had a vase of dead rose petals. He talked about how he loves keeping roses beyond their “lifespan,” because they take on a new type of beauty. He state that death has a beauty, and it teaches us to see life from a different vantage point. 

Death is the beginning. Even though I experienced those 3 impactful deaths, the “me” that emerged from those situations could not have emerged without death. So, I have started looking at death not as an engine, but yet the beginning of something that cannot begin without death taking place.

My Little Guy and Me

I have come to realize that as I get older, I understand my parents more. My mother and I are like clones in regard to how we experience life and how we handle relationships with the outside world. However, my father and I are emotional clones in the context of romantic relationships, in particular, how we like, love, and desire to be loved.

One day, when my father was dropping me off at the airport, I asked, “Pops, what made you marry Mom, even though she already had a child, and were you afraid that you would not be able to be a good father to her daughter?”

He said, “Son, I fell in love with your mother and your sister, so the rest didn’t matter. Also, I knew your mother had the potential to make me a better man.”.

Fast forward a while later, and my heart was simply smitten by an amazing soul who, after our first few interactions, told me that she had a son. To be completely transparent, when she told me, I ran away from her in every possible way: emotionally and spiritually. I kept using her having a son as a way to prove to myself that a relationship with her would never work. 

At the core, however, was my fear that I was not ready to be the consistent man I needed to be to both her and him. 

I kept asking myself these questions. Am I ready to be an example to her child? Do I have enough money to support him, her, and me? Will I get enough love from her because she has a child she also needs to love? Am I afraid to be my father now? 

Do I need more time? 

When I was done with all of these questions and running (which happened over the course of two years), I surrendered my heart fully to the fear. One of the interesting things I had to understand is as men , we have much responsibility attached to our role and gender.  I feel the goal is to not seek to be perfect accept that imperfection and strive everyday to be better. 

After all of these thoughts and prayer, I returned to my soulmate and I asked her to trust me and let me begin a friendship with her son. 

He is a fellow Sagittarius, a curious mind and the apple of his mother's eye. I continue to learn so much from him because he is literally my younger self in many ways. 

He can be impatient , subtly demanding , but at the core of him is this soul that wants to experience life to the fullest.

We are twins, so God help his mother. Ha! 

I am most thankful for the ability to hear my heart and surrender to what it needs consistently; even if it requires me crossing the bridge of fear and walking to into my ultimate potential. I’m excited about the future of many years of watching my "little guy” as he matures into a young man, and I surrender to the role necessary to shape his mind and life as God sees fit.