Cause of Death: Renal Failure by way of Type 2 Diabetes.
My last well memory of him was practicing for the Debutante Ball in the 11th grade. Due to heart disease, his Dr gave him two options — he could continue with the Ball and take whatever comes or he could have a sextuple bypass to help prolong his life. Of course, we chose the latter. That was literally the last time I was able to walk, let alone dance, with my daddy. During recovery from surgery, my dad had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed, with a loss of verbal communication and in need of 24-hr care. I had my dad for 4 more years, but the effects shook our whole family.
When he passed in 2005, I suffered silently with depression. As I continued to fight through it, I decided I wanted to be a victor and not a victim to the diseases that plagued my family. I didn’t want his legacy to be that he lived and died as another black and unhealthy statistic. With his legacy, I wanted my community to know that they are not only worthy of a well life but that there are people that look just like us giving us the options to do it. We have a place in this space. Health and wellness are for the black and brown communities, too. So I often stand naked before the world, transparent in my own journey, so that no one feels alone.
18 years later, it still hurts. May is always a hard month for me. Some years are harder than others. Some DAYS are harder than others but I know he’s proud. When I see his picture in my office, I’m reminded that “my why” moves past all worries. And personally? My weight? A lifelong journey, but I stand before you all with a clean bill of health. His impact? I may not have been able to save his life, but I’ve been able to help many around the world through his spiritual guidance. Dance means SO much more to me — no matter what it looks like to you. It’s a physical ability that everyone doesn’t have. I dance. I run. I walk for those who can’t. Daddy, I AM because you were.
So here’s to you daddy…
Joy of Afterlife: Leaving an impact on your daughter that would change the world.
I love and miss you dearly ❤️
Roy J Williams
06.29.39 - 05.18.05