After life and my family my special gift from God is music. It uplifts me, motivates me, seduces me, inspires me and heals my pain. Before I was aware that it had such power it enthralled me. My senses are all intact but the sense of sight is not my best, my hearing makes up for that. I can hear the individual instruments playing in any song but my joy is the melody from a pure voice singing acapella. So at the age of 17 when I heard a voice so pretty and crystal clear wafting through the air I sat completely still and was transported to the most beautiful place. I refused to turn around to see who God had blessed with creating such beauty for fear that it would stop and when it did I was shocked to see who it was. It was the always smiling/laughing /talking Andrea Lawful. She was always moving and seemed to possess a kind of energy that was alien to me. I got up walked over to her and begged her to sing again and for the entire school year every day I would find different ways to try to coerce her into singing. My favorite was when she belted out those Whitney Houston hits as effortlessly. We left high school and lost touch but I never forgot her or that voice and in the back of my mind I kept expecting to hear her voice on the radio. Three years ago when we reconnected on Facebook I wanted to know if she was still singing. She told me that due to an illness her voice had changed and I mourned its demise. However after following her activities for the past three years I came to the realization that the ultimate decision maker had other plans for her so he only allowed her that gift for a season. His ultimate gift, that of change-maker, motivator, educator and child advocate has impacted and continues to impact countless lives (some that she is aware of and some that she isn’t as many of her friends and social media followers share her stories daily).
The now Andrea Lawful-Trainer has become a force to be reckoned with. She is still smart, eloquent and talkative (smile) but I have been seeing a side of her character I had no idea existed, that of a brave warrior. She is not afraid to attack the status quo, voice her opinions publicly in any forum, stand up for the disadvantaged and her children (like when she took on the police department after a cop broke her son’s hand and won) and challenge activities that the faint of heart refuses to even look at. I have been a voyeur standing on the sidelines watching her tackle weight loss with gusto. She tackles her exercise s like a star athlete training for a heptathlon. I watched as she posted pictures and wrote about racing around a track in a go-cart at 60mph with her son. I could feel her glee and her energy through her words. There have been other exploits but this week she amped it up to the Nth power when she for a ‘spin’ with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in an F-16 fighter plane. My initial reaction, “WOW!!!!! Now I’ve seen it all. Who would believe 30 years ago that skinny little Andrea Lawful from the tiny island of Jamaica would be flying with the Thunderbirds as a civilian!!! Well after the shock and awe wore off I wondered what she would do to top that. Well as of now she may not have a clue but I know there will be something else on the horizon. To make this awesome feat ever more awesome I just read in one of her Facebook posts that this was a gift she got for working so hard to make others’ lives better, she said and I quote, “It was sheer luck, Antonio Jones, and my work with parents that landed me here.. I was nominated as a hometown hero and given the once in a lifetime opportunity to fly with the Thunderbirds.” Luck my foot!!! Hard work and good Karma is what landed you there! I am so proud of you Andrea Lawful-Trainer keep kicking down doors and saving lives my sister. Bless.