“How can I say thanks for the things you have done for me? Things so undeserved, yet you gave to prove your love for me; the voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee. To God be the glory.” Fanny Crosby

I want to give a special thanks to Jake Oliver, Diane Hocker and the Afro family, Dan Henson and the Friday Night Bunch, my Wednesday Golf Buddies and my beloved sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Your love and support made a difference.

“Give and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together and running over; for by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38

The remarkable show of love following the death of my father, Benjamin Scott Johnson, was overwhelming. The Baltimore delegation, as my stepmom Jean called them, that drove to DC for Daddy’s home-going lifted my family more than you’ll ever know. Some of you knew my father, had dinner with him, or have gone to Nationals baseball games with him. Others knew of him because I talked about him.

“So with you; now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22

The following day, Dr. Charlene Cooper Boston, Brenda Sykes, Sara Smalley and Rosemary “Duchess” Atkinson said they would bring dinner to my home. They walked in the house loaded with everything for a gathering, including food catered by Colin’s Seafood Restaurant and Grill. It was the best-kept secret planned during Friday’s funeral; more than fifty people showed up at my home as I sat “bewitched, bothered and bewildered” watching everything unfold, wondering how they pulled it off in one day without my knowledge—after all, I am the event coordinator.

“That’s what friends are for” Our personal DJ (have music, will travel) Charlene started the music, then Brenda searched my oldies collection. They pushed the furniture back and everyone began dancing; an old-school house party in full effect is just what I needed.

“Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the ocean as the end of the horizon.” David Searls

My daddy and I loved each other unconditionally; we shared “joy and pain.” We laughed together, we dined together, we worshipped together, and we enjoyed going to the ball games and discussing current events and politics. I will miss these things, but I am so grateful that I was able to thank him for being my daddy.

“The truth is the Super Bowl long ago became more than just a football game. It’s part of our culture, like turkey at Thanksgiving and lights at Christmas, and like those holidays beyond their meaning, a factor in our economy.” Bob Schieffer

More than 100 folks gathered at the fabulous Club House in Owings Mills to attend the Super Bowl XLVIII party hosted by Tyrese “Tony” Jones. Food, drinks and desserts dominated the group of mostly Seattle Seahawks supporters, with a few Denver Bronco fans sprinkled throughout the massive clubhouse. With the Ravens not in the game, I was initially clueless as to which team I would root for in what I thought would be a lackluster Super Bowl, after last year’s Ravens victory.

“We kept believing in ourselves.” Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawk Quarterback

Thanks to the media’s negative blitz, I decided on the Seattle Seahawks. The joshing I received from die-hard Peyton Manning fans Candes Daniels and my 17-year-old grandson Matthew Packer, a Peyton Manning fan since first grade, was heartless. The bets were on with Candes and Matthew. Candes made it easy—we would do a monetary agreement. But Matthew wanted me to buy a Peyton Manning shirt and wear it to work; what he forgot was he would have to wear a Seahawks shirt to school, where most of his classmates are Peyton Manning fans. I cannot wait to see the pictures. The students at South County High School love Peyton Manning so much that they didn’t watch the second half.

“Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.” Jean de Boufflers

Condolences to Pam McNeil on the death of her husband Dr. Clayton “Pete” McNeil, my longtime friend and fellow Coppin State Alumnus, and on the death of her mother Juliette Brown Carpenter, who died the day after Pete. Prayers to Marty Glaze, Ryan McNeil, Tyrone McNeil and Toni Brown Green as you celebrate the life and memories of family members Pete and Juliette. Our prayers to Millie Hall and family on the death of her daughter Pam Hall; Osborne Dixon on the death of his wife Veronica “Ronnie” Dixon, and to Rita Rogers and family on the death of their mother Isabelle ”Ducey” Henderson.

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family” Anthony Brandt

Sending Happy Birthday greetings to Deacon Sam Redd, Arthur Peterson, Audrey Minor, Gwen Pinder and Shay Sharpe—it’s celebration time.

“In the long run, there is not much discrimination against superior talent.” Carter G. Woodson

Congratulations to renowned artist Larry Poncho Brown on the unveiling of his Black History Month poster “With These Hands,” commissioned by the D.C. lottery.

“I wonder why you can always read a doctor’s bill and can never read his prescription.” Finley Peter Dunne

Sending get-well wishes to Charles “Chuck” Thomas, Rambling Rosa Pryor and Claude Parker.

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place” Zora Neale Hurston Happy Valentine’s Day!