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May 31st 2003

In the universe there is a celestial dance occurring every moment: rich vs poor, good vs evil, day vs night, winning vs losing etc. The various interpretations of the Ying and the Yang will continue long after we are gone as they we here long before our existence. The rising of the sun shows us how light can dominate dark. However if you look closely and carefully the moon is still visible day. The sun gives the moon its light upon the dawn of the night. With this said, one may say they need each other they give each other meaning as positivity needs negativity.

A baby was born today in a cab in Scarborough, May 31st 2013. Jayz once said on the song Guns and Roses off his album the Blueprint 2: the Gift and the Curse “Every time a baby is born somebody is slain”. This commonality seems to happen to often. Ten years ago this day I lost someone who was a great person everyone loved.

Joshua Anthony Julien was a 20 year old man with a bright future. He wasn’t given the chance to even see his 21st birthday. My Auntie Vida, is/was his godmother. I considered this relationship to me we were cousins, as her husband was his uncle. Not a day goes buy where I don’t think of my cousin. All the late nights we’d spend watching bad movies on tv, drinking sodas and talking about girls we’d want to…mm date.

He was well known and loved by all the shop keepers in his Main and Danforth neighbourhood and most of the residents. I remember this one day back in high school we wanted to rent a movie, I kept saying get Die Hard 2 or 3, but he wanted to see a kungfu flick. Mind you I was an avid Wutang fan but something about the Die Hard Movies just spoke to me. I eventually relented and watch a movie called the One Armed Swordsman (a movie I bought in the summer of 2013 on my trip to Detroit). Upon leaving the Blockbuster video, my cousin chatted up the movie as if he wrote, produced and starred in the film.

Watching this movie was one of the best films I’ve ever seen. The determination of a single limbed fighter is very inspiring as he becomes a champion sword fighter. This film helped mold my mantra for life. I’ve never been able to thank my cousin for this as he is no longer here. I do show appreciation by never giving up in life and being strong.

My heart starred get overcome with grief as I heard the news of his passing. Tears sorrow overloaded the levees of my soul and flooded my face on the pillow. Ironically, as my mom told me what happened the sun burst through my room and shone on my face. This light was one similar to the Grenadian sunshine, he and I would often speak about. It was always, let’s go to Grenada or we gotta go to Grenada. I heard Grenada has some sweet gyal, come one we need to go a day. That day came for me a year later. As I strolled through the after math of Hurricane Ivan in December of 2004, the carnage left behind was devastating. Homes were flattened like card board boxes, the land was ravaged and the contrast between the have and th have not were greatly enhanced. All I thought was Josh isn’t here to see this, a damaged Grenada is not the last memory he had. A beautiful warm island is what he remembered.

When the Black Album by Jayz came out (6 months after Josh’s passing) I would often play the song Lucifier. The song mentions the passing of his friend Bob. I would often place Josh’s name in the song when I’d sing it. Thoughts of duck tape and Garbage bags would often fill my young mind as how I would exact revenge. The Christian in me along with my Catholic School values would not let these devilish was come to fruition. Prayers and good deeds I felt would be the best way to soothe my soul and this has continued to this day.

No matter where I went for the next few years, I’d always meet an old classmate of his who’d tell me a cool or funny story about him. He seemed to be as important to his East York community as the East York Colligiate, the community center or the various businesses were. It warmed my heart to have all these people tell me these great stories about him.

All though he isn’t here on earth I know he will always be in our hearts. Those days of going to Thundar nightclub for all ages parties, then being unable to sleep due to his brother Garth playing of Wave racer for n64 (7am) won’t be forgotten.

Please love your family, friends, love ones and all others. Renew acquaintances forgive and forget the negativity and embrace change and positivity. As the celestial dance of night of day begins again let us remember just because night gives reason to day defines, don’t let bit define how we live our lives. All I know is as the days draw closer one day I will hang out with my cousin again.

Normally anniversaries ate for the celebration of great milestones. Today is bittersweet, but it reminds me of a great milestone none the less. I still retain the memories of days past from a particular person. A person who helped my future although he wasn’t around to see it. I call him a pioneer, visionary etc. Many of the great people God called home have done things that have done that impacted my future.

Josh, you are and will always be a great cousin. Please make heaven special as you have done to your community while you’re on earth.

Rest In Heaven Fam!