Willie B and Me

by Xilla Valentine

Willie B, the man I considered my dad, never got to meet my son. He saw pictures of him but due to the covid pandemic, he didn’t get to hold him, see him in person or hear one of his adorable little yelps. I’ve been dealing with a lot of death in the last year or so. My uncle died two weeks ago, my old man died last week and a year ago today Kobe died. A week before that I lost my cousin to a slow death. He laid in a vegetative state for 6 months before he passed. Things have been heavy but I feel like I’ve been processing it well. At the very least I’ve been pretending like I’m processing it well, very well.

Willie B Queen

Willie B cutting hair at the Royal Barbershop

In Proverbs 16:31 it reads, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” I want to focus on the word “righteous” – which is a moral person who tries to do good and be good. Well, for 37 years of my life, Wille B – my dad – had gray hair – righteous. Therefore, according to the bible that makes him the king who wore the crown. Before I continue I want to thank his biological children for sharing their dad with my sister and me. He was the king for all of us who ruled fairly and justly. His barbershop was a place where men were made just from listening to the tales of heroism being thrown against the walls.

“I Never Was… A Street Guy” – WIllie B

He didn’t drink, He didn’t smoke. Most importantly he wasn’t a street guy. Willie B wasn’t a hands-on stepfather and I appreciated that dearly – he led by example. At the time I was angry my real dad didn’t step up to the plate despite living down the street from me. However, My real father’s influence over my life would have been catastrophic if he was around. Consequently, Willie not being a “street guy” saved my life. It showed me an alternative to a life of crime that could beguile you into a prison cell with nice sneakers, fast cars, and dookie gold chains.

Xilla Valentine and Willie B

Young Xilla Valentine getting a haircut in The Royal Barbershop

Now, what’s next? I’m going to try to not judge the moment and listen to my heart. Focus on becoming a more complete version of myself in order to be a better partner to my girl. I have an urge to continue to help other men upgrade core beliefs so they can be better versions of themselves. If you want to raise great kids you have to be a great person. If you want to be a great leader you have to be a great person. This alone is the key. Focus on that and everything else falls into place. This is the current season of my life. Get better, teach others and grow.

Lamar “XILLA” Valentine 

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1 comment

Kay Hudson February 9, 2021 - 1:56 am

Dope. Keep it coming.


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