By Valerie Fraling, Special to the AFRO

“I don’t know about tomorrow; I just live from day to day.I don’t borrow from its sunshine for its skies may turn to gray. I don’t worry o’er the future, for I know what Jesus said. And today I’ll walk beside Him, for He knows what is ahead. Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand. But, I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand. Every step is getting brighter as the golden stairs I climb; every burden’s getting lighter, every cloud is silver-lined. There the sun is always shining, there no tear will dim the eye; at the ending of the rainbow where the mountains touch the sky. Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand. But, I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand. I don’t know about tomorrow; it may bring me poverty. But, the one who feeds the sparrow, is the one who stands by me. And the path that is my portion may be through the flame or flood; but His presence goes before me and I’m covered with His blood. Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand. But, I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand…” Leann Rimes

“Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” Washington Irving

The Christmas season was full with many parties and celebrations and an opportunity to meet and greet old and new friends in festive settings. The Modern Grannies (MG) celebration at the Hopkins Club was a benefit for Roberta’s House founded by Annette March-Grier and the March family. Guests donated gift cards for the children of Roberta’s House. My hostess MG Brenda Baker and I joined guests and MG members Mildred Harris, Victor and Lola March and their children Carmelita and Victor, Jean Mann, Anne Davis, Carolyn Chissell, Aldonna Wylie, Lynn Porter, Ellen Howard, Blanche Beckham, Marguerite Walker, Jim Haynes, Mattie and Dr. William Mumby, who was celebrating his birthday.

Loud laughter erupted when they asked Dr. Mumby how old he was; with a twinkle in his eye he said,

“I’m 185 years old.” Many of us remember Dr. Mumby and his sense of humor when we were students at Coppin State. He was one of the most gracious administrators on campus.

The Moles hosted their holiday birthday celebration at North Oaks clubhouse celebrating December birthdays. My host Mole Dr. Charlene Cooper- Boston was one of the attendees celebrating her birthday. Stanley and Wendy Dukes catered the delicious luncheon buffet with assorted meats, salads and desserts. The rainy Saturday afternoon did not put a damper on the festive mood as guests enjoyed dancing and mingling throughout the afternoon. Among the guests were: Goldie Woods and her son and daughter Judson and June, Delores Baden, Jake Oliver, Barbara Armstrong, Jackie Golden, Edi Green, Mildred Harris, Roslyn Smith, The Hon. Angela Gibson, Charles Thomas, Terry and Deborah Owens, Andrea Amprey, Tyrone Qualls, Reggie Haysbert, Pam and Stuart Beckham, Blanche Beckham and Mr. and Mrs. Ray Skinner.

I fell in love with Patti LaBelle as a teenager when she sang, “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman.” So, naturally when my Maryland Live Casino VIP host informed me that Patti LaBelle would be appearing at the new event center I immediately said yes.

“Say my name Patti Patti.” Imagine my surprise when I was in the VIP room checking into the hotel; standing next to me was, you guessed it Patti LaBelle. After I recovered from the unexpected shock, she smiled and in a voice that I didn’t recognize I said hello Ms. Labelle. Later that evening she gave an outstanding 90 minute performance in true Patti fashion showing why at the age of 74, she is the simply the best.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

Sending congratulations to Helen Farrar, granddaughter of Tim and Rita Horsley Johnson, on her induction into the University of Baltimore Honor Society and to Jill Owens on receiving her Master’s degree from the University of Baltimore during the winter graduation.

Happy 65th birthday to the Hon. Sheila Dixon, Paul Beckham, AFRO CEO Toni Draper, Dr. Charlene Cooper Boston, Tyrone Qualls, Walter Hill and Patrick Johnson.

Sending dozens of poinsettias to Sarah Holley, James “Dickey” Harris, Bernice McDaniel, Mildred Harris and Dr. Donald Atkinson

“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” Khalil Gibran

We anticipate the joy of a new year; never thinking of the sorrow, it will bring. The loss of my mother Rev Pauline Wilkins in 2018 brought me sorrow, but the love we shared for almost 7 decades brought joy. We lost many friends in 2018. As we move into the New Year 2019, we will once again enter it with joy.

We should live each day as if it may be our last. Don’t put off eating that dessert because of a few pounds. I wonder how many women passed up the delicious desserts on the Titanic. Don’t wait to call the friend or relative until another day, or taking a vacation because you want to wait until you retire. Live the best of your life now because we don’t know about tomorrow, but we know WHO holds tomorrow.

“For all we know we may never meet again before you go make this moment sweet again. We won’t say good night until the last minute I’ll hold out my hand and my heart will be in it…” Nat King Cole

Let’s toast it up to 2019! Happy New Year and remember Aleut a Continua (the struggle continues).