Professional football gave me the means to do a lot of awesome stuff, but beyond the material things it allowed me to take care of the people I loved. I got the opportunity to move my grandfather in with me and be his caregiver. Jenkins Gaston Moore was fiery, comical, and as wise as he was old. He passed January at the age of 95. Him and I would often go back and forth; him normally saying something about my clown feet (I wear size 15 shoe) and me either talking about his age or how he slept all the time. I started a funny Snapchat series of him sleeping in the most random places at the most random times. All in all, my granddad taught me more in those three years he lived with me, then any other man had in my life. My biological father has never been in my life. My step father who raised me died when I was only six years old. Now as a young man trying to do right by my family, I was blessed with the time to engage someone who had seen the intricacy of this world for almost a century. I miss him every day without a doubt! I had the honor of eulogizing him at his funeral this year. I was hoping to share some of his eulogy here.
“We have a notion of angels. Most of it we can trace back biblically; but for the major part of my life, what I know of angels is largely influenced by the environment I group up in. , The people I surrounded myself with, the faith and connection I ve with my God up above. I’ve heard many stories of many angels. I’ve read a few on my own in my search to better understand religion and how it influences and shapes people. Angels are used widely in a lot of religions For the most part they have been used as divine teachers for mortals in time of struggle Ariel the Angel of Nature, Dina the Angel of Learning, Michael the Angel of Loyalty, Raziel the Angel of Mysteries, and the list goes on and on. We also speak of guardian angels. Those who, we know, love us and have passed on to the afterlife, but we feel them constantly. However, if we forget they are there, they gently remind us. I know that guardian angels are not saints, they are not holier than you or I. , They are in my humble opinion reminders that love is eternal, faithful, and omnipotent. My grandfather, Jenkins Gaston Moore, is now one of my guardian angels and I am more than fortunate. He’s perfect for the job. I’m stubborn like my guardian angel, I don’t know how to take no for an answer, as many of you don’t. I’m funny like he was but maybe just a little less rude. I wish, I was as clever as him but he’s just going to have to carry me a little in that department. I think, I loved harder than him but he probably loved deeper. In his last days we all tried to give to him. To give him peace, comfort, companionship, love, and just how God loves irony we received so much more than we gave. He gave me wisdom most 26-year old’s never get even when they become as old as Gaston. He gave me a pride in where I come from and the extraordinary people who make up my family tree. He gave me patience because if you’ve been listening, I already told you we were both stubborn has heck. He gave me some of the best memories of my life, memories I wasn’t guaranteed…”
I still hear my granddad’s voice and feel his in my everyday life. I hear him making fun of me when I’m taking myself too seriously, calling my feet ‘gunboats’ or telling me, “I’m nappy headed”. I still see his eyes light up when he’s about to have a big meal. Yes, I even still hear him snoring in the middle of the day when no one should be sleeping, but he is. The man fell asleep at one of my football games once; it was a Thursday Night Game with the loudest crowd I ever played in front of. The man made sleeping a talent. Most of all, I still hear him telling me, he loves me. I love you too, Granddad. Miss you.