“I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.” Dawna Markova

“Thank you for being my friend…” My phone rang as I walked into Ruth’s Chris Steak House Pikesville, on the line was a friend who wanted to know what I was doing. The next thing I know they showed up and said, let’s ride. Being flexible and spontaneous I agreed, as I mentally envisioned the meal I had planned to order. I was told don’t ask any questions so I was caught up in the idea of a mystery ride. As my stomach rumbled, I thought, “maybe I should have eaten.” The torrential rain made it difficult to read the signs but after many turns, we arrived at Stanford Grill in Columbia.

We walked into a cozy restaurant to the sounds of a jazz combo “killing me softly” with the mellow sounds. It was reminiscent of nights at Ed Murphy’s Supper Club in D.C. and Baltimore’s Prime Rib where Charles Harris, Monte Poulston and Claude Hubbard commanded the music.

“I must be dreaming.” I was mesmerized as we bypassed the dining room for a seat at the spacious bar surrounded by high-top tables to listen to the combo with a stand-up bass player. The extensive menu included salmon and prime rib. Since this place reminded me of the Prime Rib Restaurant, I ordered the prime rib. The huge slab was perfect. The bartender Jeff Nelson was superb and well versed on the menu and the twelve beers on tap. The dessert list was mouth-watering as he zealously described each item. I rarely order dessert always saving my calories for homemade but finally after a little nudging I ordered the bread pudding with grand marnier sauce, next time I will order crème’ brûlée. The staff arrived with the bread pudding and a scoop of vanilla ice cream compliments of Jeff the bartender. The restaurant at 8900 Stanford Boulevard is the perfect place to watch the Ravens, spend an intimate evening or happy- hour enjoying the roaring fireplace and friendly staff.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

A requiem for two heavyweight fighters, Terri Patterson and Shannon Hawkins both died this month after losing a courageous and victorious battle to breast cancer.

“Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine on them.” Mozart’s Requiem

The uniqueness of these young women was unveiled in the celebration of their life. They lived a life that was full and was to be celebrated not mourned.

Family and friends described Terri Patterson as a fighter, a person that enjoyed life and could tackle anything. Her latest bout with breast cancer proved too much for Terri and changed her status from survivor to a saint. Living her life freely, her celebration of life captured the essence of her spirit.

“I come to the garden alone,” We gathered outside in the gardens of Michael’s 8th Avenue on a glorious morning beneath a beautiful blue sky “while the dew was still on the roses.”

“In the midst of it all” was Terri’s pink casket majestically placed on the raised gothic gazebo, bordered by rose bushes as if approaching the “stairway to heaven.” The flow of the water fountains presented a portrait of peace and serenity.

We are sending pink orchids to Odyssey Gray and staff from Russ Funeral Home who were so debonair in their pink ties in honor of Terri and breast cancer.

“Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out to sea.” Alfred Lord Tennyson

Shannon wanted no sympathy as she fought the return of cancer, never complaining as she donned her fedora and continued to live the life she enjoyed. She was adamant to parents, Tony and Paula that there be no mourning, when her soul returned home, but a gathering of family and friends celebrating her life.

“Don’t cry for me baby, I’ll be back with you one day soon. I know that life can make it hard today when the one you love is gone away. But you have to be strong, you must carry on…” Brownstone

“There’s a sweet sweet spirit in this place.” The essence of Shannon was evident as guests gathered at The Hopkins Club for a luncheon celebrating her life, her gift of love and her exuberant spirit. On the worn antique table were pictures of Shannon as a little girl with her long braids and Shannon during her final days with her fedora fashionably resting on her beautiful head minus the hair, still looking like the little girl, content, happy and at peace.

“Live your life so that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.” Cherokee Proverb

Our prayers to Iota Phi Theta Fraternity on the death of their founder Charles Gregory, to Joyce McCrea’s family and the family of Larry Causion.

It’s your birthday! Wade Taylor, Lyberia “Libby” Massey, Toni Greene, Colin Daniels

The Opelousas Massacre occurred Oct. 15, 1868, hundreds of Blacks slain over voting rights.

“I’ll be seeing you” Valerie and the Friday Night Bunch