In Memory of JahmonIssue: Section:
On Monday May 16 2011, my heart split open.
While at work I received a call that one of my dearest friend Jahmon Reed was found dead in his Harlem apartment.
There is something about the initial news of someone dying that makes life stop, for a moment.
We are left with final words, thoughts, unfinshed business, and hopefully a life time of memories and laughs. Such is the case with Jahmon.
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of her company knows and understands this too well. FYI, we shared a life void of gender specificity, so he will be lovingly be referred to as she, out of respect for the dead( but oh so alive in my heart).
We met in September 1984 in Winston Salem, North Carolina while attending North Carolina School of the Arts. Jay as she was called then, was a junior in high school studying visual arts, and I a junior in college majoring in modern dance. She would remind me years later of us meeting on a school bus coming from Hanes Mall. She had a Diana Ross cassette tape to which I replied " that's hott". I do remember that, but what sticks out as solidifying our bond was my first " mother hubbard" advice I gave her. With a heavy heart, he confessed that one of the knuckle headed unevolved young high school boys had written Jay Brown was a Flame in the mens room in his dorm. Unbothered by this news I told him to write FINE in front of flame.
For the rest of the school year, Jahmon delighted at seeing Jay Brown is a Fine Flame proclaimed for the world of 3rd floor Sanford dormitory.
Instead of being bullied, he turned this into an affirmation. He never looked back.
For the past 28 years we shared such a connection, and everything in between from
Money, joints, dancing in clubs, heart to heart talks, hits of acid, Diana Ross filled chats,
Art, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, family. We were extended members of one another's family, having know his mom and sister since 84.
One of my final moments with Lady Jah was a phone call he gave me while watching Diana Ross on The Oprah Show. He was so full of emotion he was in tears and had to catch his breath saying...."I'm so proud of Ross". As touched as he was by Ross, I was equally touched by him, to the point that my facebook post that day read" it takes a special butterfly to be moved to tears by Diana Ross". Who knew that that would be one of our final shared moments together in this life.
Who knew that I would receive a call from his sister asking if I would consider retrieving his remains from the funeral home in Queens and bring them to North Carolina for his memorial service. It was an honor I will always cherish. Being a friend until the absolute end, and representing the amazing friendship, kindred sistership we shared.
When I spoke at the memorial service, through many tears, I said just about everything I mentioned here. I read a letter from my nieces who adored him, and loved his drag stories.
But I knew then as I do now, Jahmon would want us all to think of him in the words of a Song from "Ross" as he liked to call her.
Remember Me as a good thing
bye baby, see you around
Didn't I tell you I wouldn't hold you down
Take good care of yourself you hear
Don't let me hear about you shedding a tear
You're gonna make it
Remember me as a sunny day
That you once had along the way
Didn't I inspire you a little higher
Remember me as a funny clown
That made you laugh when you were down
Didn't I boy
Remember me as a big balloon
At a carnival that ended too soon
Remember me as a breath of spring
Remember me as a good thing
Bye baby, see you around
I already know about the new love you found
What can i do to wish you well
What we had was really swell
I won't forget it, I have no regrets
Remember me as the sound of laughter
And my face the morning after
Didn't the sky beckon us to fly
Yes remember the times we fought
Be don't forget me in your tender thoughts
Please darlin, oh yeah
Remember me s you drink the wine
Of sweet success, I gave you my best
Remember me with every song you sing
Remember me as a good thing.
Until we dance again,
Eternally yours girl, gregg mother hubbard.