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I am immeasurably grateful for the life that I lead today. As the founder of Global Attic, I'm finally doing what I love; pursuing a career in interiors, giving back to those in need and being an inspiration for those who lack the courage to live the life of their dreams. However, this state of bliss is a newly-reached destination for me. You see, as recently as a year ago, I was just existing. My spirit was hanging on by a thread and I was stuck in a sort of zombified zone. With minor exceptions, I didn't find joy in anything. This condition was a result of the grenade that had been thrown into my life in 2013. Despite the standard ebb and flow, I was happy with my life. However, when my mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer in July 2013, it all started to fall apart. My father, unable to cope with the situation, passed from a stroke on December 2, 2013. This was a day before my mother’s 76th birthday. Just two months later on Feb 1, 2014, my mother lost her battle.

My parents were everything to me. They were exceptionally intelligent, wise, kindhearted, giving and creative people. They planted the interior design bug in me from an early age. They were DIY'ers before the term became trendy. They both sewed and reupholstered furniture they found at thrift stores or on the curb. They made custom drapery. My dad built furniture and made holiday decorations that were prize worthy.

My mom possessed a serious green thumb, creating a breathtaking garden filled with plants, flowers and fruits from a 1/2 acre of dirt. Her garden rivaled those in the best home and garden magazines. My parents also collected African art. I remember the many times I watched my mom haggle for the best prices at African festivals. She also took my twin sister and me to various furniture stores to gain inspiration for our home. I enjoyed these trips because I loved to see how perfectly staged the showrooms were. Thanks to these “field trips,” my objective is to always select home decor items that combine to create a stunning visual story. My parents were amazing. I miss them tremendously and wish that they could be a physical part of the success I enjoy today. However, they are with me spiritually.

Mom and Dad striking a pose at my cousin's 10th wedding anniversary party

Mom after climbing 300 steps to the top of La Basilique du Sacré Cœur in Paris, France

Dad after taking a 22-hour train ride to Texas to visit relatives - he didn't like flying.

A shot from the garden including the gazebo dad built

As if losing my parents wasn't devastating enough, there was more grief to come. My favorite DJ Frankie Knuckles passed March 31, 2014. For more than 15 years, Knuckles was the connective tissue that brought my siblings and me together several times a year to listen and dance to House music. His sets were therapy.

Frankie - the smile, the grooves, the humility #bestdj </