Khalid’s Corner: Rest in Peace, Auntie

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Wisdom from Community Leader, Khalid Elahi

My aunt’s death has been a brutal reminder that you must take care of your temple while you are younger in order to increase stability when you get older. As I watched my auntie pull her oxygen tank around with her on a daily basis, I could remember my beautiful grandmother doing the same thing during the end of her life, so it always put an uneasy feeling in my stomach because I automatically felt that the end was near for her. My grandmother smoked cigarettes and it became the death of her. My aunt followed in my grannie’s footsteps and it was the same outcome.

I’m at a tremendous loss because so much history is going into the ground with her. I love my aunt beyond imagination. We were apart for so long and this year we became very close, so I’m blessed to have made her feel good about me and the work I do to support at-risk youth.

I’m pleading with you. If you smoke cigarettes, please stop smoking because it causes lung cancer and other ailments that torture the body. We see our parents do things when we’re young and some of the things may look cool, but we have to break the curse of our people and incorporate some new rules for living. They say if you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.

May you rest in peace, Auntie Lynette Johnson-Kelly.

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