I spent most of the day teary-eyed upon hearing news of the passing of Prince. At first, I was absolutely convinced it was an internet hoax. Once it started to sink in, it felt like the world had stopped for a few hours as the mourning rippled across countries and cultures in such a way I can’t recall before with any one else’s recent passing.
I was still a kid in school when “Purple Rain” came out and I recall my first feeling of connection to Prince is that he, like myself, was passionate about basketball. Yes, I liked his music and I didn’t quite understand how he presented himself to the world, but he had to be okay if he loved basketball. That was the thing about Prince…the legend seemed to have something in common with each and every one of us.
As I read tweets and posts about Prince’s musical talent, I couldn’t help but think about his impact on the world outside of music. He transcended gender and race and unwittingly became a role model to all of us who felt a sense of not quite fitting into the world around us. He was different. He was odd. He was normal. He was kind of shy. He was talented to a level of being incomprehensible. Yet, he accepted us and we accepted him. He loved us and we loved him right back.
I often times hear people talking about leaving the world better than they found it and Prince is one of the few people I can think of to achieve it…perhaps along the lines of Father Judge or Mother Theresa. He did it in the quiet manner we came to know, trust and love.
There will never be another Roger Nelson and we mourn his passing, but we can take some comfort in knowing that Prince will continue to reign.
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life.”
- Prince, The Revolution