today Wilma Coleman Joseph was laid to rest. she fought cancer for 18 years.
Wilma was married to her first husband, Kenneth Coleman in 1970, had her son, Eric, in 1971, and was widowed by 1974. a young black single mother raising a son in Los Angeles in the early 70's, it coulda been the story you read about or see in movies time and time again, but Wilma was no stereotype, and she refused to let Eric become one either. she secured a job with the LA Unified School District going on to get her Bachelor's and then her Master's in Education. she remarried to Kenneth Joseph in 2003.
Eric Coleman, or simply "Coleman" as his friends refer to him is one of the greatest people i have ever had the privilege to call a dear friend. we go way back to junior high days and the dances at Daniel Murphy Catholic Boys School, and later we'd reconnect through our love and passion for photography. i can definitively say that Coleman is a key player in the soundtrack to my 20's and beyond, still dj'ing and making the kids move at the now 10 year running club, Firecracker. always the gentleman, always there if you need him, always a smile, never a harsh word, Wilma's greatest achievement shines every day through Coleman and the people he touches on a daily basis with his images and his music. Wilma was his proudest and biggest fan. even as bone cancer ravaged her frail body to half its size and in constant pain, she never missed his gallery openings and frequently attended his sets at Firecracker. she treated all of his friends as if they were her own. if word got to Wilma that you didn't have family to go to for the holidays, you instantly became a Coleman. there will never be another pot of gumbo quite the same.
today at the funeral service, another friend of Coleman's said he was just glad he could be there today for Eric and that he never actually met Wilma. i turned to him, smiled and told him, if you knew Coleman, if you love Coleman, then you knew and loved Wilma. he is quite simply an extension of her brilliance, and she was his best friend.
i'm home now. still kinda in a daze and not even thinking about what workouts need to get done. just not feelin' like Iron today. maybe tomorrow, maybe sunday....