Heartbroken, but thankful: a tribute to chadwick boseman

I completely forgot the tissues that I had left on my desk as I sat down to share my thoughts. I was even surprised at how many I had gone through, listening to his words, the interviews, his social media posts; scrolling through every post and every article I found, learning more and more about this remarkable, brilliant, beautiful soul of a human being.

I remembered being so excited to see Black Panther and how Amazing it looked in the trailers. The cast, the beautiful costumes, the accents (@LetitiaWright is sick) and the special effects. I remember being so proud to finally see an all black cast on screen - one that looked like me -- playing superheroes! And how thrilled I was that I was going to get to take my son to see himself on screen in a lifetime of only knowing a black man as president and a black superhero who came from a (albeit fictionalized) country from the same continent of his father's family and his mother's ancestors!

[Sidebar] That opening weekend we were all decked in Superhero form! I think my bff thought I was a little crazy for wanting to dress up—but I knew that I wanted to make it an experience for all of us and something that our sons would always remember. Their costumes fit them perfectly—and yea Amazon for getting them to us on time—it was getting down to the wire! At the time, I wasn’t able to find a female Black Panther costume, so I opted to wear the Black Widow one that I had gotten the year before and my bff wore Catwoman and it all worked out (I know wrong universe, but we were making it work!). To my surprise, we were in the minority of the folks who dressed up, but we received lots of compliments and went about the business of getting our pictures—we took tons and it was so fun—and enjoyed the moment. I’ll never forget it!

The news of Chadwick's passing hit hard. In sharing the news with a group of girlfriends, one of them said "2020 F*cking SUCKS!" I empathized with her pain. Especially since she was dealing with the impact of the invisible terrorist, we call COVID-19. Another young person, only 34 years old, taken too soon. This year started with the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and one of his beautiful daughter in a helicopter crash. Seeing pictures of the two of them together—Kobe and Chadwick—was particularly painful. Still so shocking! Kobe a mere 41 years old-and Chandwick ONLY 43!

Like so many others, the kicker for me was finding out that while Chadwick was courageously battling this monstrous disease (unfortunately colon cancer is more fatal in the Black community and particularly for Black men)—he was kicking ass on screen and off! Between visiting cancer-stricken children in the hospital, training 4-5 hours a day for is films, hitting all of the red-carpet events, the tv interviews—the fans of us read this about him by now. If that’s not a real-life superhero, I don’t know what is!

I’m grateful for that beautiful smile, his laugh and is larger-than-life legacy that will bless generations to come.

Thank You My Forever King. T’Challa. Black Panther. Real-Life Superhero. Chadwick Boseman.