(a celebration of life and death) 

 By Chance Kelsey, chancellorfiles.com

“Oh my” indeed it is true, that it was you who introduced me to the writings of Jose Marti the Cuban poet. After all Ralph, you were born in Havana, Cuba. I really enjoyed listening to you tell me about how life was as a young boy growing up in Cuba. You spoke of how the political communist system worked in Cuba and how hard life was living under a dictator leader like Fidel Castro. And indeed, you spoke of the ethnic make up of Cuba. You were proud of being a Cuban.

Ralph: Cuba has blacks, whites, Chinese, and mixed people.

You were very intelligent too; you shared a lot of knowledge with me about a variety of things even though you were in your forties at times you sounded like an older wiser man who had experienced a lot in life. Really you sounded like a man in his early sixties filled with knowledge. “Oh how” I remember your gratefulness for being born Cuban and you would tell me about all of the accomplishments that Cubans had made in education, sports, medicine, politics in the United states, etc and I enjoyed listening too.

Ralph: I am a black Cuban and I have some Chinese in me because of my grandfather on dad’s side.

Ralph, you had caramel brown skin, black wavy hair that you wore short about two and sometimes three inches long your hair was a mixture of black and white or Chinese ancestries. Not too wooly and not too strait. You had arch eyebrows like a tiger, round black eyes, a Spanish accent when you spoke English, you were bi lingual you spoke Spanish and English I saw and heard you speak to many Latinos of Mexican, Salvadorian, south and central American descent, about 5 “9 or 5”10 in height, and handsome.

I enjoyed our walks to the store and fast food restaurants we had some good intellectual conversations as we strolled. Then one day you revealed to me that you felt the end was approaching, and a strange fear gripped me because an intuitive feeling inside of me agreed with your words. Your illness had progressed further and was causing in indescribable pain, and because of this you knew the end was encroaching. I had placed a stone over my heart so that when it happened I would be able to bare the pain of loss.

I would visit you at your apartment and we would chat about various topics and we laughed those moments were pleasant. Then months before your disembodiment (death) I would visit you and there was a difference in your physical appearance – you looked tired and ill. When we would sit and have our conversations there were moments of silence and again an intuitive feel came upon me that the end of your incarnation was approaching. Those silent moments left a powerful impression on me because it should me that I was only human too. Sometimes at these moments of silence you would break the silence between us and remind me that death was coming closer and you and I would separated from each physically. You told me that I was friend and you cared about me. I knew in my heart that you loved me. Months later you became very ill and you went to the hospital and after being there a few days you passed away (died). I was some what prepared because you had let me know in advance on many occasions that this would happen.

Then one day sitting at my job I thought about you — and from deep within my soul essence emotions of inner pain swelled up from inside me. I put down my pen, and turned both my hands over towards my palms and placed my hands over my face and cried. I cried like a baby yearning for his mother. I cried hard and the more I cried the more it hurt emotionally, and then more it hurt emotionally the better I felt. It was a good crying that hurt and but at the same time brought a joy to my soul. The more painful the more joy that swelled up from within. It was liberating, thank you for showing me through your death Ralph how to feel and cry. Tears are purifying for the soul.

Ralph: My favorite book in the bible is Ecclesiastes because talks about life and how life works in many situations and circumstances.

I miss you Ralph, your death affected me deeply. I saw you suffer emotionally, mentally, and physically with your illness. It was painful emotionally for me to watch you go through that. Feeling powerless to help easy your pain was tormenting to me. All you ever wanted to do was live a little longer, and enjoy life a little more. Life is so precious, but yet so fragile, life she is like the springtime too brief.

I have a white rose for you a sign of our friendship, it’s a beautiful rose and it blooms. I will give it to you when I cross over.   

This is a hug from me to you (Ralph)  

I Cultivate a White Rose

By Jose Marti

I Cultivate a White Rose
In July as in January
for the sincere friend
who gives me his hand frankly.
And for the cruel person who tears out
the heart with which I live,
I cultivate neither nettles nor thorns:
I cultivate a white rose.


Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca

Por Jose Marti

Cultivo una rosa blanca
En julio como en enero,
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca.
Y para el cruel que me arranca
El corazon con que vivo,
Cardo ni ortiga cultivo,
Cultivo una rosa blanca.

Written during the 21st century by Chance Kelsey (chancellor)

  1. Lil

    Marti was Da Man! [Rest In] Peace to Ralph for droppin’ dat AMOUR!

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