Leonard Dixson a Study of Greatness.

We miss you granddaddy RIP Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 8.40.24 PMWhen you have been blessed with two men as great as my Granddaddy and my Uncle Charles it is almost impossible to choose between the two. I'm glad I don't have to choose. They both played huge parts in making me a real woman. They showed me what a real man should be and conduct himself. I miss them both more than I ever realized I would. I thought  I would have more time to sit at the well of knowledge they both inhabited.  You never have enough time with those you love.  The memories and the wisdom our loved ones share with us before moving on can't be taken away.  Tomorrow and next year are not promised. Don't live your life with regrets. Tell someone you love, you love them today. Peace, love, and style.

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes we don't even realize how much grace has been given us until we've had a chance to step back and reflect.

How do you measure the greatness of the life of a woman or man? Is it the amount of money they accumulate during their life? Is it the good deeds they do regardless of whether someone else sees them? Is it the way they raise their family?  How can you measure how great, how exceptional, a person is? Can we weigh their greatness while they are around us? Or is it like many things we don't realize we are among greatness until we've walked out of the glow of their presence?

Leonard Dixson was the greatest man I have had the pleasure of being around. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I was in the presence of true greatness. Who realizes their parents or grandparents are special?  I took things like his infinite wisdom for granted. Isn't that what everyone's granddad does? Now that he's gone I find myself quoting him and working out my problems the way he would tell me to if he was here. That's greatness.

My grandfather was a strong, quiet, humble, man with a great sense of humor. He loved to laugh and more he wasn't above playing a practical joke or two or three on some unsuspecting soul. Usually, Grams was the one he subjected to his shenanigans and she was none too happy about it.  He molded his sons, daughters, and grandchildren with unconditional love, quiet authority,  and grace. I couldn't be prouder to be his grandchild if his name had been Martin,  Malcolm,  or Barack.

Maybe greatness needs time to simmer and steep to grasp its true measure.  Like the time it takes for little boys who break their grandfather's cologne and blame it on wayward tornados to become men with children of their own. Men their peers look up to.  Maybe it takes time for the generations left behind to realize you left a legacy and it is now their job to carry that legacy to greater heights.

Maybe greatness is measured in raising your family with the expectation that they will be called on to make a difference.  Each of us in the DIXSON family has a purpose. None of them are the same. Like the Kennedys, we were raised knowing only our best was good enough. We were raised knowing other families looked to our grandparents as role models. We have a legacy to protect. We are not the black version of the Kennedys or the real life version of the Huxtables. We're the DIXSONS and we strive to live up to the legacy we were born in. We were born into greatness because our granddaddy  Leonard Dixson was a man more special than even I ever comprehended.  He never told us we had to be great. He simply showed us greatness and each of us in our own way have taken his spirit and pushed ourselves to our own level of greatness. Then leveled up and broke the glass ceiling.

When I look at the men in my family there are many common threads among them but the greatest thread among them is the thread of fatherhood. They are all Black dads who rock; or in my brother's case a Papa who rocks. Each of them has taken the lessons my gramps left behind and elevated it. Some of the men in my family were raised by single mothers. Contrary to what Steve Harvey believes even the ones raised in single parent homes grew into great men and excellent fathers. Because even when their fathers went MIA they still had my grandfather's example to follow. Every day I remember something else about him that made him remarkable.  He wasn't perfect. He was just an ordinary man with flaws who loved his family immensely. He wasn't an angel but he was greatness personified. I know this because greatness is measured by the legacy and memories you leave in your wake. True Greatness never dies it lives on forever.