John Hicks, known as "June" to his family, wrote these final words,
read to loved ones by his brother Raiford Hicks at his funeral May 26, 2006.
TO MY FAMILY; THINGS ARE GOING TO BE DIFFERENT
(June's Wishes Before the Final Call)
I have now stepped aside and leave you all with a grave responsibility, the responsibility of sharing and caring for each other; the responsibility of loving each other unconditionally; the responsibility of letting go of anger towards God; resentments and attitudes of indifference and intolerance. No day can be too long, no demands upon your time can be too urgent, no task too hard, no effort too great. You will need rigorous patience with yourself and each other. You must be prepared for criticism. At times, you may even feel a lack of appreciation. You may even be misunderstood at times. I call on each of you, especially Paula, Raiford, and Emma Lou to continue to practice what mama and daddy taught us: that sometimes it's better to understand, rather than be understood. We have seen fire and rain together. Some sunny days we thought would never end.
Remember, the only thing that is impossible is the impossible.
"I would like to thank God for the time he has given me on earth. I'm thankful for being a part of each of your lives and you being a part of my life as well. You must all remember that the Lord Giveth and He taketh. There's a time for everything; a time to live and a time to die. Nothing, absolutely, nothing happens in God's world by mistake. It's not how long or how short I have lived that matters, but the quality of life I have shared with others while I was here.
To: Elise, Naima, Chintamini, Jamil, Sis Paula, Bro. Raiford, Baby Sis Emma, Ray Ray, Kwesi, Amina, Lotus, Hakeem, Aunt Thelma, Debbie, Ore'sala, Akua, Abena, Olympia, Millie, Khadeeja, Malik, Winter, Ronald, Louis, Burt, the L.A. connection, the Jamaican Sun, Billy, Denise, all of my loved ones and friends.
Message: I give you this one thought to keep: I am still with you. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints in the snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle keyboard playing in the autumn rain. When you awaken in the mornings, hush, I am the swift keyboard giving you that uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am that soft melody of "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He's watching me." I am the lyrics softly saying if I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, oh Lord have mercy on me. I am that favorite song of Mama and Daddy playing "Without a song, there ain't no love at all."
Do not think of me as gone, without a song you might miss me. In each new dawn, keep my music in your heart and "Never let me go" and we will never be apart. Never say goodbye. Whether your thoughts will be in 4/4, ¾, or cut time, know that I have lived the truth, brought light and paved the way, in the name of the father, son, and Holy Spirit. I am June… In a minute.
(Words from me to my Baby Brother, Raiford Hicks to share) 5-10-06 N.Y.C.
"Thank you Ray", "Thank you June, I love you always and forever. God Bless.
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