As I sit here watching an episode of the Steve Harvey show, Steve is interviewing two cast members of the Young And The Restless (Y&R) about the death of Kristoff St. John, the actor who played Neil Winters. Unfortunately, as we all know, Kristoff recently committed suicide, reportedly due to struggling with the tragic death of his son. News media has broadcasted that Kristoff’s son suffered from mental illness, which led to him committing suicide a few years prior. Mental illness is a condition that plagues so many, however, it oftentimes goes untreated or not treated properly for a multitude of “shouldn’t-be” reasons. Such a heart-piercing story about the complexities of the mind, emotional demise, and the inability to recover or cope with losing a child. It’s a no-brainer, in that everyone is affected by this story the same.
Y&R actors, Doug Davidson, the character, Paul Williams and Victoria Rowell, aka Drucilla Winters, are sharing personal stories about their former co-star, but more importantly, it is evident that they were great friends. They seemed to love each other like family. My eyes are fixated on the TV, attempting to catch every word. I want to know more of the backstory of this man, who was a great actor, but apparently carried a huge load of pain in his heart pockets. Pain sure doesn’t discriminate based on profession, wealth, color or the likes thereof…
~Later~ Both of his long-time friends were emotional, although they also shared a few comical moments during the interview. At one point, Doug (Paul) was so filled with emotion, that he had to pause and gather himself before continuing. Victoria (Drucilla) gracefully carried the conversation until he could finish verbalizing his thoughts. Doug was so visibly shaken, extremely hurt and devastated by his friend’s death. If you’ve watched Y&R over the years, you know that he is a very talented actor, however, he couldn’t act his way through his grief, even if he wanted to. The raw pain of what Kristoff meant to him took center stage– it showed through the TV screen; it momentarily stole the show. Tears….
My thoughts immediately gravitated to the genuine love of these friends. It was evident in that moment, that Agape love has no color scheme. Wow, what an important reminder served up through witnessing the remnants of someone else’s pain. In this current mode of political divisiveness and a multitude of discriminatory practices, it’s good to see the true love that lives in the depth of our hearts and in our souls–love that is not adjusted, based on colors in its crayon box. Each representation of the beautiful mosaic of us should be proud of who we are, individually and collectively—how God made us; who God made us. A good friend once shared that if you’re ashamed to be your authentic self, then you’re saying to God that you are embarrassed by His creation of you. Profound words, spoken like marinade juices slowly covering, then saturating a prime cut of steak! 😉
I am very proud and blessed to be a black woman, and I’m glad that God chose this representation of the color spectrum for me. This pride allows me to embrace a beautiful culture and have experiences that I would not have had, otherwise. Some good, some not-so-good, but all of which make Lisa B who she is. He certainly could’ve chosen a different “crayon” for me, but He didn’t. That’s not a curse– it is indeed a blessing. As I’ve always fully embraced my blackness, packaged in this caramel-pecan-colored skin, I’m so thankful that ALL of our hearts are the same color–symbolic of red!
Yep, it’s February 2019, and once again, we proudly celebrate Black History Month— the education of a history that was practically, and sometimes deliberately left untold for years. Although our minds are being populated and wowed by some beautiful stories and interesting facts, it tends to level off after February. As we approach the closing of Black History Month, let’s continue to read, share and celebrate powerful stories and amazing contributions of black heritage. It is important to bring awareness to these little-known facts or forgotten stories–past and present. It helps us to better understand each other! Why wouldn’t we need to know the history/her-story of those who challenged the establishment to bridge the racism and inequality gaps? They, too, are contributors to the make-up of this world fabric, threaded by the multi-colors of the crayon box.
Yes, we are all uniquely and divinely made, but the most immediate visual difference starts with the color pigmentation of our skin. It is how we are initially identified, even before gender. With that in mind, we should be reminded that our souls are the result of one God. He gave us one degree of universal love that runs deep through the entire box of crayons! It doesn’t skip colors! The love of friends, as shared in the onset of this post, is indicative of that love–no Crayola specifics. Grief is a non-discriminatory emotion and love is a universal affection. Let’s celebrate who we are, and love each other in the process! God’s crayons are all beautiful, and non-toxic! 🙂
*Honoring and celebrating the legacy of a legend, Clarence “Big House” Gaines, who I first personally met, while working as a college work-study student in Athletics at Winston-Salem State University—Ram Pride!! His presence seemed to engulf any physical space that he was in. His tough, yet caring spirit is something that he was admired and respected for. I’m grateful to have been a mere minuscule part of his legacy. Check out his story via the video link below…
*The Cherry Vine does not own rights to this video.
Peace & Blessings,