My favorite cousin in the entire world passed away this past Monday, April 26, 2010 from pancreatic cancer. He was 58 years old.
Skip, as he was called, was an amazing person and all week I’ve reflected on just how lucky I was to have known him in my life. He overcame a string of huge obstacles late in life. He was forever shaped by his experiences and the wisdom he had as a result of it made you understand how even the rough parts of life can serve a positive end.
He was a computer guru and talented graphics artist who ran his own very successful company (Waters Edge Grafixx) doing work for everyone from the NAACP to the Ludacris Foundation. He created incredible artwork in almost every medium and he was always an artist first and foremost. He was a budding photographer and spent hours with my dad taking informal lessons and posting his pictures on Flickr.
Skip was funloving and hilarious, brilliant beyond belief and loved his family. Have you ever met someone who could talk in depth about every subject–politics, history, religion, psychology, etc.? Well, that was Skip. He was one of those people you wanted everyone you knew to meet. I will miss most our 2-3 hour conversations late at night about everything under the sun and his genius in everything related to technology. I will always remember how his spirit handled this illness with calm reserve, graciousness and thoughtfulness.
We worked for several months last year on the booklet for our family reunion. Of course his graphics skills made it unlike any family program you’ve ever seen:
With typical genealogical focus, I stressed to him that we must get him on videotape talking about his amazing life. Luckily, my dad did it–and the result is a 2.5 hour conversation that will be treasured.
This is one of my favorite pictures of him posing with me and some of our other cousins, Aminah and Jamilah last October, 2009:
My darling Skip, how glad I am that you are not in anymore pain. How happy and enriched my life is to have known you. You were a truly unique person whose depth of knowledge kept me in constant amazement. The impact you left in the hearts and souls of your family and friends will keep your memory alive and cherished always.
Wellington “Skip” Waters: Nov 13, 1951-April 26, 2010