Dear Big Cassie

Big Cassie! 

If heaven had a phone, an extra divine line wouldn’t even be able to handle my sky-high call volume. 

Hearing your voice outside of my memories would bless my soul. So much so I think God would make an exception for me. After all, you’re proof that angels walk the earth among the living. I hope He’d understand my need for some amazing grace by way of your vocals. Your trademark “baby” alone, as it played on your vibrato, could bring forth miracles. It’d at least reduce the time until our reunion. 

Big Cassie. Photo courtesy Tiffany Pearson.

At 4-foot-barely-anything, you were every bit larger than life. I guess it’s impossible not to be a big personality with a heart full of joy. It wasn’t that you were always happy as it’s impossible to be 100 percent of the time. Instead your lighthearted gladness was as enduring as it was contagious. If I didn’t absorb a bit of it through your signature hugs, then chances are it rubbed off onto me somewhere along the way. Whatever the case, adding generosity into the mix, you stamped your angelic status, pre heaven. 

Kindness and niceness aren’t kin in my book. It’s nice to be kind but it isn’t always an act of kindness to be nice. I don’t own a memory of you being nice for the sake of being nice. That’s shallow. No, the depths your laugh rose from wouldn’t have any business associating with “nice.” In fact, your giggle warmed hearts to a degree hot enough to cook those biscuits you’d make from scratch. You made folks feel right at home in your own house and in themselves. 

I’m not exactly sure of all or even much of what you went through in life. I was too young to ever ask and, perhaps, know. What I’m inclined to believe is your experiences made you who you were and your life’s journey motivated you to freely be yourself while welcoming others to be true to themselves.  

Your positivity was your divinity long before you set foot through those pearly gates. It was your superpower. Your fortitude. Strength through peace and joy. I’ll always reminisce on that. 

It’s been said we never get over a loss, we just learn a new normal. More than decade and a half without you and well, maybe I’m remedial. It’s difficult for me to comprehend an extended absence of the best person I’ve ever known. One thing’s for sure, though. While you may not drop a direct line from the kingdom in the sky, I can look forward to the one milestone that never quite arrived: sitting in the kitchen with you, discussing grown folks’ business over a hot cup of coffee and one of your fresh, homemade biscuits. It’d only be complete if Daddy Boulware were just outside the window washing his truck before the next downpour.  

I miss you, Big. 

Love, Love, Love,

Tiff 

About the author

South Carolina's own ship driving Jackie of plenty trades. This globetrotting Lieutenant, survivor and advocate steadily roots for everybody Black. She sends love, peace and a rhythmic “ayyyye!” via Italy.

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