Seems surreal. Feels Surreal. It is surreal.
Feels like just Yesterday I was a Kid and Re Re was in the Choir singing and winking at me and Minister Cleveland played the organ (that I learned to play on..... I quit playing the organ when I left the church many moons ago). I knew she had a record or 2, but I never had No Idea that She or Rev. Franklin were Famous. She and my cousin Carol were always making records. I never knew Carol was Famous either, I learned that she was a hit maker upon her death. I never knew Pastor was Famous to the world, Until his Death, prior to that, this was simply my Church Family and Minister Cleveland, would later become Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, and I have Not Enjoyed the gospel since they rested his soul. I remember when Pastor was Robbed and Killed. It was just like My Great Grand all over again.
He was Robbed and killed. James had just died and as a kid, it just felt like people were dying all around me. I remember asking: Do we have to stand in line for Church today? Man, that line was long and around a few corners. Wow! My Pastor was Loved. I had No Idea why the line was all the way around the corner(s) for his funeral, I knew that day, I did not want a funeral when I died. I just remember that we were let in the back door and we set up close to the front. I wanted to sit in the balcony, but family secrets meant we got to sit up front. [The webs that your ancestors and the elders weave] I Had No Idea my Pastor Was So Mighty to so many people all over the world loved him so. I just knew he was Mighty to me and allowed me the freedom to use my gifts. Growing up watching Red Ree sing in the Choir, then eating in the backroom waiting for afternoon service to begin, Ree Ree tucking the out of place tag on my dress back in, or fixing a messy out of place ponytail. I am simply at a lost for words, and Blessed to have grown up in a City filled with Beautiful Souls, where I was always Loved outside of My Home, even if I never felt it inside. I have been Blessed to never have seen or known these beautiful Souls as Celebrities. I never put two and two and together as a kid that Ree Ree was Aretha Franklin the Singer. LOL
But Man she looked just like Ree Ree, Hair was always different, and threw me, but just like Ree Red and Pastor, she could Blow. But that Aretha sang a different kind of music. I am in a daze. It is Surreal hearing this News today. That nice Lady, that everyone called Ree Ree and who sang so hard in church...... The lady that use to wink at me, fix my pony and make sure I had a plate in the kitchen (because I was so little, shy and quiet), the Lady that I later learned "Is Aretha Franklin". Ree Ree, Pastor's Daughter, and our Queen of Soul, was the Worlds Queen whom I loved so dearly. My Grand use to say: Monique (my name before it was Patricia), Ree Ree has a heart of Soul. (Many of you just read that and are shocked. No, I have Not always been Patricia, but I am now and that is all that matters). That lady, with the Big Voice who was always so nice to me, like Pastor, is now asleep (that was how it was explained to me). I somehow cannot phantom this. ........ It is surreal!!!!!!!
And I am having a hard time believing that it is actually Ree Ree, known to many of you, as Aretha Franklin, that is dead. Like her Dad so many years before her, I will hold her love and care deep in me forever. One thing was for sure, she was More than just the Queen of Soul to me, forever she will always be Pastors Daughter. Pastor C. L Franklin's Daughter and the lady that told Minster of Music "James Cleveland" that I could play that organ, and praise God like nobodies business. "I Love You forever Pastor Franklin, Mr. Cleveland and Now Ree Ree". ...... I remember you told me not to long ago, to get out of these Small towns and come home where I am supposed to be and do what I am supposed to be doing. I laughed and replied: small town living is easy for me, everyone calls me Patricia. No one knows me or my family. On days like today Ree Ree, small town living is easy, and the shy and bashful little gurl that yet lives inside of me, will get to morn the memory of you in peace. Never Good Bye, Forever Blessed "New Bethal Gospel", I'll Always Love You, I'll never forget how Good you were to me And I will see you later. Never Good Bye, just later Ree, Ree.
It is said to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. I Pray over all that you have been through Queen, I Pray that you have your wings and are present with The Lord. I Pray that you are with Our Father God. I Cry, I Morn and I Pray. I Pray your with Mama, Pastor, James and the rest, I Pray that you are finally at Peace Ree Ree. Amen Amen
Surreal Ree Ree, this is Surreal to me Auntie. See Ya Later Aunt Ree Ree.