My family dynamic is very unusual. I’m the youngest of 4. My dad had my two oldest siblings when he was in college. About 10 years later he had my sister. And then when he turned 40 he decided to have one last rodeo and have ya boy. My oldest brother Quincy Jr was 21 years older than me. Second oldest Ricky 19 years older, sister Ashlee is 9ish years older than me. Outside of the oldest two, we had different moms. Pops got it in, but this ain’t about that. We all loved each other. Personality wise, we kinda paired up but it was still all love. Ricky and Ashlee were close and then even though Quincy Jr was 21 years older than me we were close. Ricky unfortunately passed away in 2012 which put a foot in my ass to keep in touch with my siblings the best I could. Being broke with student loans and eventually a kid, made it difficult to travel to them because I lived I’m VA, Quincy and Ricky lived in Florida, and Ashlee lived in Kentucky.
April 5, 2019 I lost Quincy Jr, as well. My last brother and the one I meshed with. I didn’t realize until later, the void he left in my life.
Shout out to my mother because I was in between jobs at the time but she made it possible for us to drive from VA to Orlando to make his service. The drive down there almost bored me to tears because my mother, God bless her, either listens to Gospel or absolutely nothing, with her tires hitting the road singing background. When I took the wheel I had to beg her to listen to my music with the promise that I would slide Boyz II Men in there cause that’s the only secular music she enjoys. Long story short, 95 South is boring as hell when you can’t listen to trap music and chain smoke.
So we got down there Thursday, checked on my youngest niece and nephew and rested up for the next day.
What came next I was/wasn’t prepared for. Until this point, outside of my maternal Grandmother, every major family member that passed away was cremated. Which made the blow of a death not hit as hard because I didn’t have to look at a body.
When I was given the schedule of how the services were, what stuck out to me was the word,”viewing”. This is my last brother so I can’t not go to every part of his service, but I was worried.
I went to the viewing and as soon as I walked into the church I saw my brother lying there in his casket. I couldn’t see all of him, but I knew what was there, so I tried to keep a low profile and sit in the back of the church as far away from the body as I could. This is the part of the story where I reveal that even though we were 21 years apart. I look JUST. LIKE. MY. BROTHER.
Only thing different is the beard and me being drop dead handsome(he would have laughed at this).
So I’m sitting in this back pew for all of 2.5 seconds and I hear my brother’s sister(who I acknowledge as my sister) Mo’Nique say “That’s Quincy baby brother, don’t he look just like him?”. EVERY BODY TURNED AROUND! So I had to give my love. Mo’Nique hugged me and whispered in my ear “People are gonna get emotional when they see you because you look just like Quincy.” Understatement.
One of my cousins came up to me completely in shock hugging me. My niece who I haven’t seen in years said “You DO look just like my Uncle”.
That’s when it started to hit.
Mo’Nique grabbed my hand and said “Come on let’s look at your brother”. I was initially irritated because I sat in the back to be away from the body. But I realized at 29 years old, it’s time to man up. Death happens and it’s nothing you can run away from.
I went up there with Mo’Nique to look at my brother and at first it messed me up because he looked just like me and my dad. But my brother had been dealing with alot medically and to see him finally at peace and with the Lord was soothing. Not to mention he was CLEEEAAAANNNNN
Shout out to Mo’Nique because she made all of that happen and did it flawlessly.
While I was looking at my brother I had my sister in law Jamia, his wife, and our sister Mo’Nique holding both of my hands. This being new to me, I didn’t know how to react so out of nerves I put a vice grip on both of their hands. Jamia said “Don’t break my hand now, but i got you”. Mo’Nique said “You strong, but I got you”. Seeing them be so strong, kept me intact.
I went to the bathroom to get myself together and when I walked out, these two dudes, who I never met before rolled up on me like:
Them: AYE MAN! Don’t you owe us some money?
Me: Umm… I don’t think so.
Them: Well you look just like the dude that owe us so that’s your debt now. Cool?
I laughed it off and appreciated it cause it lightened the mood. It helped me get through.
Those dudes were my brothers cousins and closest friends. We went outside and shared stories of Quincy Jr. Looked at pictures it was love.
When I came back to the church everyone was sharing stories and memories of my brother.
I’m shy when I first meet people. My brother didn’t know anything about being shy. Everywhere he went he made a friend and let her personality shine. Saying that he was loved is an understatement.
I moved to Orlando for an internship for 6 months and me and brother got REAL close cause I spent alot of my off days together. I remember him driving me around Orlando and so many people knew him. We went to a footlocker so I could blow my check and while I was shopping I heard him talking to the fine ass cashier like “That’s my baby brother over there. He handsome right? Of course he is, he look like me! Go head and give him,your number” Why did that work? Big ups to him, the GOAT.
That’s what he did everywhere around him. If he ain’t know you, he got to know you.
The stories people shared weren’t any different.
The next day was the funeral. I went to his house. When I was walking to this house, people were calling me to their cars like “That’s his baby brother? I wanna meet him”. My oldest niece’s mother saw me walking to the house and her jaw dropped. She said “Oh my God, he even walks like Quincy.”
Now was time to get in the limo and ride to the church. I was in the car with my nieces and nephews. When we walked into the church for the funeral and saw the body one last time it all hit me.
The 21 year difference between Quincy Jr and I was all a blessing. When I was growing up I used to hear my dad say “Well your brother is cutting up in school.” Or any other way I was Wylin. Quincy Jr checked me. When I was over 18 my brother put me on game. He shared his pickup lines with me, that’s why I’m so nice with it now. And when I had a child, he showed me how to be a father. He gave me great advice. I lost a second father, a friend and a brother.
The service was beautiful. Again, shout out to Mo’Nique cause she did the Damn thing.
Ok now ima get funny.
My mama, God bless her soul, she’s doing intermittent fasting, so she doesn’t eat passed a certain time. I asked her to stop me at wawa before the funeral so i could get something to eat. She asked me to get her a pretzel so, and I quote “I have something to put on my stomach so I don’t get light headed at the funeral”. We go outside to take pictures, and we head to the elevator of the church to go up to the repast AANNNNDDD, my mother gets light headed. She’s sitting in a chair passing out, I got a relative on each side that we never met before fanning her off n shit. One relative is like “Baby is she a diabetic? She must not know she diabetic she passing out like this Po thang shoulda ate something”. So my mom and my aunt telling me to bring her back to the hotel to rest. On the FOURTY MINUTE RIDE back to the hotel my mama asking me if she ruined it for me. I’m just like.. “I mean, I was excited to meet relatives I’ve never met before. I understand you passed out because you haven’t eaten in awhile but that’s why I got you that pretzel you haven’t touched since you been at the church. And the remedy for your light headedness was literally an elevator ride upstairs cause they got hella food cause it’s a black repast but yea we can go back to the hotel”.
So at the viewing Mo’Nique told me there was gonna be a gathering after the funeral to really send my brother off right. We had a turn up for him. It was at a community center so we couldn’t have alcohol out in the open but we was all,going to our cars with our to go cups, pouring up. Sharing stories about my brother. It was love.
Ima say this…. You ain’t SEEN a turn up until you played DJ Khaled and Trick Daddy around some Florida niggas… IT’S LIVE!!!
When everything was all said and done, I linked with folks I just met, I hugged and loved on folks. It was amazing. It was love. It was what Quincy Jr would have wanted. Like I said, I look just like that dude. People still have a piece of Quincy Jr in their life,cause they met me. And I have the same cause i met them. I lost my last brother. But my family grew 10 times bigger.
I love you bro. And you don’t have to worry cause you got people holding it down for you. I’m one of em. Rest easy.