To a friend I love with all of God’s agape, to whom I am grateful for showing me the essence of thoughtfulness, joy, smiles, & humanity, and who, almost twelve years later, is still as cherished as the day we met.
Charming Prince Carmen
At a time when
Imagine my surprise that Saturday when walking onto campus from
Over the next four years, being that I developed a major yard-chill-mode of operation, I ran into Prince wearing his black cowboy hat quite often as I chilled on the steps of Fine Arts, or anywhere else on campus I saw fit. There aren’t too many folks whom I can say this about, but EVERYTIME I ran into Prince I was received with a RADIANT SMILE and ENCOURAGING WORD. By my senior year, it wasn't uncommon for Prince to express how proud he was to see that I’d “developed into such a respectable young woman taking care of business!” People are often so quick to voice their displeasure or problems with you that it's really substantial to receive genuine encouragement from our brethren. Maybe it was Prince's example that led me to become such a gregarious sunflower during my four years Howard. There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance, the latter which I have zero tolerance for. And Prince honestly knew the measure of a confident and spirited existence.
And he also knew the measure of a helping hand, because there were times when I needed a ride to or from somewhere and if I saw Prince and asked, he happily obliged. One such episode was last fall when I had taken the metro to Dave & Buster's for a friend's birthday party. It was, as always, a pleasant surprise to run into Prince and he ended up joining us for the party! When it was over we were trying to decide how everyone was going to squeeze in the cars to go back to campus (since there were more people riding back than had come to D&B's). Prince was quick with his offer, "You know I'll give you a ride, sis!" When we got into his black Jeep Cherokee, one of my favorite songs, Fred Hammond's "Blessed" came blaring through the speakers. "Let me find out you're into Fred" I smiled. "Yeah" Prince answered, "I listen to this song every morning. The Lord has really blessed me." He told me that he was not in school that semester because there were some things in his life that he was getting together. It did then and still gives me comfort to know that he truly found his joy in the Lord when he was here.
And even though in this human reality we can't comprehend why our friend was taken from us in such a detestable manner, we can find our peace and confidence in knowing as Prince has departed his earthly body, absence from the flesh is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthian 5: 6-8). And so I don't try to figure out why or how this happened, because I’ll NEVER know in this lifetime. BUT I now smile brighter than ever knowing that I WILL see him again.