I was seven years old when I met you. A fence separated my home from yours. You allowed me to meet my brother, Cory, and you welcomed me into your heart. From the very first time I met you, you treated me like your own child. Your son and I shared a common interest, and that interest was sports. You helped fuel my interest in sports by being a fan. Cory and I played on different teams, but win or lose, you cheered for us both. When we would argue in the back of your burgundy Cadillac, you would yell at us and let us both know that that we had done well. Then, you would feed us. Of course, that was my favorite part. The food was a distraction. Perhaps it was a pacifier. Looking back now, she flipped the mood just by that simple gesture. You just had a way of making things better. You were tough on us as kids, but you did it because you saw the potential in us.
Fast forward fifteen years.
I am now twenty-two years old, and I'm fresh out of college. I recently lost my father. I had no direction in a career path. One day, you and Mr. Alsberry approached me with the opportunity of a lifetime. You both asked me to become the Editor-in-Chief of Kids' Health Club Magazine. You both trusted me with this upstart publication, and needless to say, it was life-changing. For eighteen months, I learned about journalism and myself. I learned about leadership and responsibility. It inspired me to become my own boss. In 2015, I launched Urban Color Magazine. It was because of you and Mr. Alsberry that I have this privilege and opportunity today!
On August 24, 2019, I got "the call". I was with my own mother when Cory called and said that you had gone home. As hard as I tried, I could not fight back my tears. I know that you wanted us to celebrate your life, but I wasn't done! The last time that I saw you moving around, you were headed to a gala. You were stunning as usual! You wore a beautiful, black sequin dress. As always, you were so elegant! And per usual, you found enough energy to yell at Cory! That's the Mrs. Alsberry that I'll always remember!
Cancer stole you from the world. Cancer stole you from a loving family. Cancer stole you from a community. However, you were a champion while you were here with us. In a world filled with so much hate and anger, your love was the light that shined brightly. Mrs. Alsberry, you will be sorely missed, but your spirit will live forever. Thank you so much for the gifts that you shared with the world. Hazel Crest thanks you! The medical world thanks you! Every kid that you drove home after practice and games thank you! Every single life that you have touched thanks you! I thank you.
J. Diane Adams-Alsberry, I love you. I'll miss you. Rest in peace. You earned it!