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Dear Mercedes,

Dear Mercedes, Its been a year since the LORD healed you from a tremendous plot of pain and suffering caling one of HIS angels home; but Id like to begin this letter by apologizing. I apologize for my absence during your battle with that wordly disease called CANCER.. Excuses aren't necessary but I will admit being pregnant and taking on a new responsibility consumed most of time. In retrospect I should've dedicated more of my time to you; but I truly prayed and imagined circumstances were going to turn around. The moment I hold onto dearly is the night I walked down First avenue openly crying and praying with you over the phone, while you were in the hospital undergoing another surgery, or recovering of that matter. You listened so humbly, intensely and would reply, "Destini its okay you don't have to visit all the time. I know you care and this phone call is what matters. You reaching out. Some people don't even call or check on me." Finally I came to see you during your most rigorous days of the battle. Although you were sedated and unresponsive most of the visit, I made sure I rubbed my hands through your hair, kissed your cheeks and recited "I LOVE YOU" nearly one hundred times. Those few times you struggled to say my name and reply I LOVE YOU TOO melted my heart completely. My mother's weekly reports of your well being also settled my anxiety because we represented one another. I know the prayers you two shared together were heard and accepted in JESUS NAME. Tapping these letters on my iPhone 6 keyboard to send a letter in memory of you through the clouds to the heavenly skies, has been such a difficult, reluctant, and overwhelming task, yet way over due. You wouldn't imagine the objects and things that hold value to my heart because it symbolizes a piece of you. Girl did you love a cellphone? Lol A smart phone preferably. You were the one who introduced me to the incredulous capacity of WIFI!!!!!! It feels like yesterday I would walk through Nootie's door and hear you utter the words "That's Destini?" And then once I had the privilege of becoming a mother it transitioned to , "That's Destini! Where's Elana?" Your wit, slick talk, humor, smile, and laughter created an atmosphere undeniably magnetic, sincere and true. Literally I remember the first time I laid eyes on you. If I'm not mistaken I'm 9 years older than you so the memory is quite candid and vivid. While following behind Jeanine one day in the girls room at grandmas house (hope you two are smiling in heaven bonding together and looking over us) , Jeanine came in with the latest news stating, "Michael just had his second babygirl. Her name is Mercedes." Of course I wanted to know, "Where is she?". Then immediately she escorted me to grandmas room. This was the first encounter I had with your mother Lisbet. I greeted her and asked to see the baby. Once she loosened up her grip and positioned you towards my eyesight, I stood in awe. All the exaggerations to side, you were the prettiest little human being I ever gazed upon. Fast forward two or three years, you didn't see Jeanine without Mercedes on her hip. Although you had a face of a mixed bred cabbage patch , your attitude portrayed a fierce "Ktty Kat" honey. Lol Shockingly, you didn't want to be bothered by anyone but Jeanine Seegars. Initially we were all jealous because we wanted to flaunt a little pretty HUMAN cabbage patch doll on our hip; than gradually we became use to it and luckily you became use to us. Once Nicholas was born we felt as if we received a two for one package deal. Although you were only a year apart, you constantly made it evidently clear who was the oldest. Jeanine and I loved you so much, we willingly traveled to the end of the earth to be apart of your worlds. Whether it was staying the whole weekend in a shelter with your mom on the lower east side, or visiting Poppy on Lexington to come get you and bring you two back to Metro, we made sure we solidified a bond with you two as early as 12 and 15. We didn't mind playing chaperone or babysitter because you were our babies. Not to mention Jeanine is your god mother, so she bent over backwards to ensure you were being well taken care of when your parents were "preoccupied". Long story short, once Jeanine put you under her wing, and Nootie began to raise you, there was no telling the WORLD you weren't OURS. So many moments I share with you babygirl I can write book about the experiences and stories we created. Remember I caught you "running away from home" and delivered you personally to Nootie's doorstep? At the tender age of 10 or 11 you made a conscious decision to insert yourself into someone else's custody. Out of the glory and greatness of Nootie's heart she didn't request a dime. The courts didn't have to get involved to intensify and complicate the matter. Nootie just took you in rightfully so to adopt the role of sole guardian. What you overcame most couldn't endure, but the champion in you prevailed. Admirably you didn't make excuses , complain or play victim because of your circumstances; and the strength you embodied allowed your spirit to rejoice in laughter , love and triumph. Throughout high school you adapted a new profound love for basketball which inspired you to engulf in college and professional basketball. Which reminds me, Skylar Diggins has a camp now I know you would've love to take part in. We were so proud of the ambitious, witty, smart, talented young woman you become. Than suddenly , a dagger in our hearts. Cancer came knocking at the door. Mercedes, I won't glorify the name any further because there's no need for you to relive that pain twice; but I will emphasize your will power to fight gives me hope everyday. Your diligent approach to hold on to faith despite the odds against you reminds me to hold steadfast to GOD's grace. Your audacity to continually LIVE despite your pain, the barriers dumped in your path, and physical conditions unbearable to the touch, makes you a warrior, champion and furthermore an angel. Thank you for the substantial memory left by your true ability to make others around you happy. Everyone doesn't have that skill of a characteristic. Thank you for your honesty, humility, and generosity. Thank you for the determination you embodied. Your presence at the Elana's grand opening theme babyshower while in the midst of your stormy battle is an example of a giving, loyal, powerful, willful, strong character I only pray to equally mimic. Thank you for being those encouraging words I needed when I wanted to give up on my dreams and aspirations. You stood by me every step of the way by traveling to different studios with me advocating my talent and playing my records for your dope ass friends who who'd put it on blast and replay. Your presence and physical being will always be missed by the souls you touch; but the memories are embedded in my minds and hearts. PS. Young MA reminds me of you. Just a cool authentic spirit women and men die to respect. I guarantee you would've loved her. So much has transpired over the past year with the election and uproar of women's rights; Id love to hear your perspective on the direction the world is heading because your insight was always so profound even as an adolescent. Mercedes I love you. Elana will recognize you from photos but I promise to make sure she knows you by conversing over memories shared with you. Never RIP just save me a seat my love. Sleep in peace and until we meet again , your fight has ignited a spark ready to conquer all. Love you babygirl 😘

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