Episode 9: When Will The Pain End?
Our special guest for today's episode JCeles is a survivor, widow, father and entrepreneur who blessed us profoundly by agreeing to share his compelling story about growing up with parents perpetually struggling with addiction, being raised by his grandparents as a result, finding the love of his life in the eighth grade, eventually marrying her and starting a family, unexpectedly losing her to colon cancer at the age of 37 and now raising a family (three beautiful daughters and a son) as a single Black father.
JCeles, real name Jason Celestine, was introduced to this world in the midst of the 80's crack cocaine epidemic and unfortunately his biological parents were just two among the inordinate amount of people whose families were fragmented or destroyed. As someone personally affected, on his episode we delve into the difference between how the local, state and federal governments have addressed the opioid epidemic compared to the uninspired lack of effort given to eradicate the predominately urban areas of the same crack cocaine that they were later found to have been responsible for supplying in the first place. JCeles was blessed to have a capable support system around him and despite not having his mother or father around full time growing up, his grandparents stepped in willingly to provide the love, guidance, nurturing, discipline and principles that shaped him into the husband that he was and the father that he is.
Not enough times, especially in popular media, are the great Black fathers celebrated rather we're inundated with vilification of poor examples which are truly in the minority. Not only is JCeles a successful businessman with his own barbershop located centrally in the neighborhood where he was reared but he is an incredibly involved parent who sees to it that his children understand the imperatives of love, laughter, legacy and most prominently keeping the marvelous memories of his wife and their mother eternally in their hearts. The overwhelming loss of the quiet but powerful family matriarch is still a bitter pill to swallow but motivates them individually and collectively to push through to greatness because she would accept nothing less than.