Step by Step

October 31,2008, My new bride and I were enjoying our Honeymoon in Bermuda. We had went to breakfast on the top deck of the boat, came downstairs to get ready for the day. I went into the safe as I had always done to check for any messages on my phone. I see like a twenty missed calls.

“Wow,someone must really miss me to continuously call like this”, I thought. I failed to notice the voice mail icon, instead went to check my text messages. There was a text from my sister Julissa stating,” Phillip, Aunt Stephanie is dead” I screamed out hysterically, “Oh my God. This has to be a joke”

Tasha asks,” What happened ?” I reply,” Julie just texted me saying my Aunt Stephanie died.” I rush frantically to check my voicemail. It’s a message from my mother confirming the text. What a way to spend part of your honeymoon. That was a selfish but true statement.

That was basically how I found out if my aunt’s passing. I cried that day I found out, but it didn’t hit me until the day of the funeral. Seeing her in that casket brought me to terms with my own mortality. What made it eerie is that it happened on Halloween.

Aunt “Step” as we called her, was an interesting soul to say the least. She had her own form of love, but it was love. She had her own way of talking, but it was her talk. She had her own ways, but they were her ways. For years she was my candy supply. Everyone in my family can honestly say they had a unique relationship with her.

One story that always stick out to me was “The Staircase Brawl” with my Cousin Stephen(her son). Stephen was 3 and I was 4. As any two little boys do we fought. Now, this particular day we were fighting on the top of the staircase. We tussled over the edge and fell down the steps.

As we layed there holding the back of our heads, while crying. Our mothers picked each of us up off the ground. We both were now in the comfort of our safety nets. Aunt Step, after it was all over, came smiling to me and asked how I was. She gave me a hug, then gave me some candy. Those are the moments you remember. Til this day I don’t know where she always got all that candy from.

If you look in the sky right at this moment as I write this, you’ll see it’s very cloudy. Look real close to the breaks in the cloud formations, where the sun is steadily beaming through the darkness. I stand under the rays and take in the sun bath, because I know that’s Aunt Step.

I never got a chance to properly say goodbye. This is my ode to you. This my dedication to you. I will always love you. The memories of you are etched in my very being. We will stay strong as you guide our steps along with The Lord.


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