I took this picture in Orlando over 6 years ago. I recently graduated from UCF and was headed full steam into my businesses. Those were the first hats I made for Family Dreams Fitness and Wimbley-Render Creations. At that time I wasn't publicly promoting "Wimbley-Render Creations" I was just promoting my book. My first book BWPE was an instant conversation starter. Random people would ask me what BWPE stood for and that was the open door for me to talk about my story.
I had another book that I contemplated putting out called Born Again: Spiritual Cleanse but opted to just include the writing from this book in my second book.
I posted this photo on social media on August 15th, 2015. I used the wall in my apartment as the background.
My uncle has been on my mind a lot lately. Spending time with family reminiscing on the past always brings up great memories of Unc. Uncle Punkin was the realest person I know. He was far from perfect but he was so passionate and lovable. He was more of a big brother figure than uncle to me. Uncle Punkin was a beacon of light. He always believed in me since I was born. I looked up to him like Tupac. I saw them on the same level. I wanted to get tattoos because I saw him with them and emulated his style.
My mom and uncle were very close growing up. He was the youngest of the family so he was everyone's baby brother. My mom would say that he was like her son before me. She would take him everywhere and go on shopping sprees.
When I was born she said that changed. My mom would transition all of her attention on me. The same things she did with my uncle she did with me. Before my mom's Alzheimers got worse she would cry with regret because she felt she let my uncle down.
My uncle committed suicide in 2018 and his last argument was with my mom over the phone. I witnessed the argument on my mom's side. She was in the wrong during this heated debate. I told her she was wrong and that it's okay to agree to disagree and keep it moving. After that argument I thought nothing more of it because that was common. They were big sister and little brother, arguing with siblings is normal. But this time it was different.
I was happy to see my uncle at my graduation. He was so proud. He gave a small speech at my trunk party in preparation to go to UCF. We had a unique bond tied into my mom. We were her babies. Even when we were grown ass men we were still her babies. His interactions with my mom were the same as mine and vice versa.
Before I graduated college I was mentally ready to work for myself and create businesses. At the time I was a physical therapy intern at TriPt (formerly known as Proform PT) a private physical therapy clinic and personal trainer at Youfit. The whole time I was preparing to transition on my own.
My uncle was the hustler I looked up to my whole life. His inspiration ran deep. I wanted to create businesses and hustle my business like him. If given the opportunity my uncle would easily be doing what I'm doing if not better.
My uncle has been heavy on my mind. After reminiscing with family talking about our Punkin stories I decided to go through my Facebook history. I wasn't looking for anything but I wanted to continue to reminisce the great moments in the past. When I scrolled all the way to the bottom of my pictures I clicked on the picture above with my books and hats. When I looked at the comments I saw my uncle commented on the pic. I completely forgot about this picture and interaction. This was from 6 years ago.
I feel my uncle's presence. My first book BWPE: A Conversation With Yourself was my conversation with myself. It's a book that I will promote forever because we all have internal conversions to help us understand our reality and this book helps you with that process. I always wanted to have deep conversations with my uncle about life, about my mom, about our family. I wanted to understand him more. Never in a million years did I see him taking his own life.
But going back to this interaction and the feeling of his presence before "stumbling" on this is very humbling. To be very honest, it took my breath away. I had to stop everything and just breathe because I felt his energy. He is above looking at his family and is still encouraging.
My uncle passed away a few months before I had my event "We Have A Voice". This event was geared towards encouraging others to use their voices. My uncle had a voice and was misunderstood and overlooked. His greatness wasn't appreciated in the moment but it damn sure is appreciated now and forever. Uncle Punkin taught me to be 100% myself by being living proof. His energy inspired the video below.