My latest novel, The Devil’s Blessing, just came out and I decided to dedicate my book to the memory of my childhood friends who died violent deaths. While on the surface this seems like an easy enough thing, it came with a lot of questions, a lot of “maybes,” if you will.
Will this bring up too many questions about my past?
Will this put a target on my back from old enemies who are still looking to kill me?
Will this anger my old acquaintances (piss off the homies) that don’t like me and are always looking for a reason to hate on me?
Will the families get mad that I dedicated a book to their loved one with the word “devil” in the title?
And so on and so on. All these maybe questions were swirling around my mind and vocalized by my friends and family.
Finally, I made a decision and that decision was; fuck it.
I love and miss my friends that were taken from me. I told myself that when they died that I would always remember them. Now that time has passed and times have changed, should I pretend that they never existed? That what happened, never happened? No. Heck, no.
I am what I am and what happened, happened. If people don’t like it or try to twist it into something that it’s not, then that’s there problem, not mine. I made a promise to my friends to never forget them and this is just my small way of doing that. Nothing more, noting else.
While this may open up some can of worms, I think I’m ready for that headache. I hope so, at least. But at the end, this isn’t about me, this about them and that their memories may continue on.
The book seemed perfect, too. It’s about a cruel world being unfair to everyone around them. And that’s what happened to my friends.
Every morning I try to pray and read about at least one of the day’s saints. This book was finished on September 15th, the day we commemorate Our Lady of Sorrows, the heartbreak that is the Queen in Heaven, our Mother the Virgin Mary. It was a clear sign from God. My book was meant to come out that day. My dead friends left a wake of grieving mothers, the greatest sadness on earth.
Hopefully everyone will read the dedication and take a moment to pause and let some wounds heal. Either how they feel about me but more importantly, how they feel about what happened to our friends. Hopefully this can begin some healing that many of us so desperately need.
In closing, here is the dedication I wrote. It is dedicated not only to my friends, but to everyone who lost someone out there in the concrete jungle of America’s inner-cities. Let’s never forget them and live the lives that they never had the chance to.
Dedicated to everyone who was violently taken from us too soon and now rest in the arms of our Lord
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!