“Everyday I’m Hustilin’, Hustlin’!”

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Today is the 18th anniversary of my dad’s passing. For many years of the last nearly two decades, I thought of him rarely. The day he died (suddenly of a heart attack at age 37) I became enraged and was thrashing my room. I desperately played Bible Roulette demanding an answer from God. I immediately landed on John 11:26 , it reads: “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” The Holy Spirit spoke to me, asking me if in fact I really did believe this. I suddenly had a peace that transcends all understanding and I coped well with his loss knowing that we would one day be reunited.

Lately, I find myself thinking about my dad more than ever. I believe it is because I have matured spiritually. I look back and I see my dad’s influence in major and seemingly minor moments since 1997. One for example, is the day Tia was born and I was wheeled up to the NICU to see her. What I saw was my dad’s face in her face. She doesn’t look much like him at all (we joke she is Sri Lankan), but in that instance it was like he was staring at me! Later that night in 2005, which was also Easter Sunday, my dad’s identical twin came to visit me in the hospital. That was unexpected as we rarely see one another. He poked his head through the door to say “hello”, for a few seconds I thought my dad was there to visit me the day I became a parent.

I often find myself laughing when “I’m wheeling and dealing.” You see my dad was a “hustler” in the best way. If he wanted something, anything; he could negotiate it- or at least try to. As a kid, I would feel embarrassed listening to him ask for free stuff when we were at stores, really anywhere (like an unfinished clog made during a demo session in Holland). I inherited the “hustle” and I’m proud. I am constantly negotiating better deals wherever I go.

When we took the pictures I posted last week we were at our local beach. We normally walk, but because of our fancy garb we drove. I refused to pay $8 to park for a 15 minute photo shoot. My husband was like “come on Corrita, just give me your card”. I was like “no, uh huh”! My mind stirred for a solution- “Bingo”!¬† I hailed a car that was leaving the lot and nicely asked for their parking slip. As I returned with my free parking, I told¬† K.K. (our photog) “your sister is a hustler”! She said, “just like, dad”! True.

Every time I score a deal I think of him. I’m reminded how even though he has been gone so long, he is right with me on the daily. I feel like I make him proud. He once told me (his name was Verney) that “whatever you sign your name to should be your best work”. That has stayed with me. I’m a better human because of my father. My dad was no angel, but in life you can glean from others the aspects that are superior. I know that I am destined for greatness and “everyday “I’m hustlin, hustling, hustlin’!”

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