Pieces of Reese: Remembering Reese Kirkland II (Tawab Rawchaa)


Keeping the Facts Straight…

11/3/2011 “I don’t even wanna begin… Tell the ones you love that you love them and pray for the ones you hate and tell them you love them too… I feel a change is coming and we need to get right.” ~ Personal Facebook Message from Reese Kirkland Jr. to Kitty Y. Williams

Reese and Joy KirklandIn our many conversations, Kirkland admitted to me a long time ago that he was not a perfect man but was working to get his life right for his daughter so he could be the best Father he could be. Sure he’s made some mistakes but who hasn’t? Once you recognize your flaws, working to fix them (if they need to be fixed) is what counts. In his last years, Reese got involved with a new church family, attended bible study regularly and was very active in the organization. In fact, on the same day that he was taken away from us, he had just left bible study and his brothers in Christ drove him to pick up “Michelle”, now 5 years old. According to one of his best friends and the driver that night Leroy Velasquez, via television and radio interviews with KHOU11 and The Gathering of Christ Church, he noticed that Reese (in the church known as  Tawab Rawchaa) was taking longer than usual to come back with his daughter. When he got out of the car to go see what happened, he heard Reese screaming for help and followed his voice to the apartment where he witnessed him being pushed out of the doorway, discarded like trash by “Sarah”, the mother of his first and only child.  As Velasquez pulled his brother over his shoulder and rushed back to the car, Tawab was very upset that his daughter had witnessed the entire incident. Apparently there was an argument at the door that escalated.

According to Reese’s dying testimony, “Sarah” pulled out a taser and electrocuted him and then he was stabbed by her new boyfriend, all while 5-year old “Michelle” watched helplessly. While the couple told police they did it in self defense, the evidence may suggest otherwise. He was penetrated 10 times all over his body with the knife and according to what the Doctor told Leroy and the family, he would have lived if he had not been tased at the same time. But due to the irregularities of his heart beat from the electrical currents and the shock from the murder weapon, his heart gave out. How did things escalate to this level with a man who was there only to pick up his daughter for the weekend? Reportedly, the new boyfriend had tried to run Reese over with his car in the past and put hands on his daughter as well. Sadly it went unreported. So during this night when the argument occurred, the door was damaged when a physical altercation erupted outside then carried on inside at which time things got out of control and developed into a fatal ending.

The Final “Graduation”…
In his radio interview with The GOCC, Velasquez recalled Kirkland’s final moments  (paraphrased):

“After I saw her push him out the door, he started crawling to me asking for help. I picked him up over my shoulder and put him in the car and began driving to the nearest hospital. I asked him what happened. While I was driving, I kept hearing a strange buzzing noise coming from the back of the car. When I had a chance to stop and look back, I saw that a taser was still going off near Tawab. I asked him where he got that from and he said he got it from “Sarah”. He said she tased him and then her boyfriend stabbed him all with “Michelle” right there. As I turned around and continued to drive toward the hospital, he told me to pray for him. I told him ‘No, I’m not going to pray for you’ because I didn’t think it was that serious at first. But then he yelled out ‘PRAY FOR ME!’ So I did. When I turned back to look at him, he looked at me in a way as if to say ‘Thank You.’ He then looked up toward the sky, with no fear in his eyes and said ‘I’m passing, I’m passing now…'”

That change Reese warned me about in 2011 had finally come to pass. He knew in his Spirit that something was wrong with the world. I now wonder if he sensed that he himself was in any danger. I still can’t believe the irony in how he died for the one thing he cared for more than life itself, his daughter. All he wanted to do was spend time with her and be a Good Father. She was the love of his life and made him a better person. You can clearly see that on this segment we filmed on “Young Parenting”. He confessed to me that he and the mother of his child had not been able to get along and she continued trying to withhold “Michelle” from him too often since they were so off and on as a couple at the time. So we agreed to discuss this issue on the air which we knew many young people our age were experiencing and could relate to. He pleaded for everyone to work together, especially in the Urban community. He literally pleaded. Isn’t it crazy that if he had been a “Deadbeat Dad” and let the new boyfriend take care of his daughter and not come around at all, then he might still be alive today?

Reese PeaceIt’s Not Goodbye But See You Later…
As the saying goes, No parent should ever have to bury their child. And no one should ever have to bury their loved one because of unnecessary violence. It’s one thing when a total stranger kicks down your door. You cannot convince me there was any reason other than jealousy and anger one someone’s behalf to electrocute and stab an unarmed man of God to death who was only there to pick up his daughter as scheduled.  My only comfort now is knowing that Tawab was able to tell his brethren what really went down before he passed, that there was someone who loved him there to hold him in his final moments and that he knew and verbalized what was going on as he crossed over and had no fear of what awaited him on the other side.

On Thursday 2/27/2014 I received an email from one of his sisters, Tenique, advising me of the dates for his Wake and Funeral. I hadn’t attended this type of thing in 7 years since my Grandfather passed and wasn’t sure I was ready to do it again, but I had to.  Friday morning I woke up, paced the house for a while, got dressed, prayed and then headed out to McCoy and Harrison Chapel off of MLK Blvd and Old Spanish Trail around noon. It was so strange because my Grandfather’s funeral was also held on an MLK Blvd but in Mobile, Alabama. As I prepared to jump on 59, I struggled to keep my vision clear from the tears. At one point I looked to my right and saw a random white bicycle tied to a sign post on the side of the road. But what was so odd about it, is the entire bike was white. The tires, handle bars, the metal, everything… and was just so out of place.

When I pulled into the parking lot of the chapel, I saw two ladies getting into their vehicle and I gave a smile then did a double take wondering if they were family. I walked inside, the lady pointed me in the right direction and as I walked into the back of the room with the open casket up front, I was terrified for the moment because there was no one else in there, just me and Reese. I almost turned around and walked out in silly fear but knew I needed to say one last goodbye to the good friend who let his light shine in my life; it was best to do it while no one else was in the room. So I made my way up there, looked from a slight distance, then got close, then backed up, convinced myself briefly it wasn’t him because he looked a little different now. Then I sat and cried. I apologized for being a bad friend and not visiting him again sooner while he was alive, apologized for not finishing what we had started together on my show and told him I loved him. Morbid as it may sound, I even took a picture of him in his beautiful new earthly resting space because I wanted to remember him in this peaceful state in which he now appeared, instead of the horrible painful way I imagined upon hearing the news of what happened. As soon as I took the picture I heard more footsteps about to come in the room so I quickly pulled myself together, said hello to the young lady and walked out. While I emotionally broke down in my car before pulling off, I was appreciative that somehow maybe he had from the other realm orchestrated allowing me that moment alone with him to say what I needed to say.

Spiritual Graduation Party…
That Friday night after the visitation I never made it to sleep. Again I was driven and wanted answers. But since there were no other News stories I could find with updates and information on an arrest or trial, I decided to focus on doing something I knew would bring myself, his family and other friends some happiness. The blooper reel. Sitting there editing it for hours until it was right, feeling as if Reese was right there with me, man we laughed and joked all night together. I’m talking deep hearty belly laughs, we just had a blast man!!!

Sleep deprived and hungry, I made it just in time to Reese’s Spiritual Graduation Party as one of my mentors put it. The parking lot and street was so packed that folks had to park up to 8 houses away and walk back. It was standing room only on the inside so I planted my feet just on the inside of the door in the back of the room where up front he laid facing the sky, and all were greeted by the cries of his mourning mother Emma. You couldn’t help but want to reach out and hold her and all of the family. As more people came inside the building, the hall outside was filled to the brim and even though a few extra chairs were brought out, it still was not enough to seat all of the beautiful people who came to witness this homegoing. Not to make a joke of things, but you would’ve thought it was “99 cent Tuesdays at Popeye’s” the crowd was so large with a line out the door. You saw it Reese, you know I’m telling the truth!

ReeseEyesToTheSkyIn all seriousness, Tawab’s Hebrew Israelite GOCC brothers took to the front beautifully dressed in all white, which reminded me of the unusual all white bicycle I saw the day before, and they led the service with prayer, memories of their brother and relevant biblical teachings for us all. The floor was then opened for those who wanted to share their own story or memory of Reese. One lady in the back kept looking in my direction for some reason. So right before they closed out that segment, I went up to the front and shared my own testimony on how Reese touched my life and was like sun rays through the darkness during a very rough time… He was a Beautiful man, a wonderful Friend, exciting as a Business Partner and a Devoted Father.  Make no mistake about it.

This is my tribute to Reese Tawab Rawchaa Kirkland Jr.
Thank you for choosing me to be your friend. It is an honor to testify to your true character.
Peace and Love. See you later brother.
(Thank Ya’ll for Reading and Sharing.)

Kitty Y. Williams

Oh by the way, Reese told me to “gift” YOU this message from Heaven, in his own voice:

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About the author

Kitty Y. Williams
Since moving to Houston, CEO Kitty Y. Williams (MissKittyTV Networks, LLC) has brought positive media exposure to Entertainers, Business Owners, Authors, Filmmakers, Community Leaders and other unique individuals Worldwide. Beginning with MissKittyTV in 2006, she filmed exclusive interviews, showcases, web cam episodes and events around the city, sharing with the world via YouTube. In 2007 she started her Kitty Williams LIVE radio broadcast on BlogTalkRadio, interviewing guests and showcasing music from several independent entertainers. (Read More on LinkedIn)

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