Cyrstal Jackson was so beloved in Northwest Pasadena that when she passed, there was a memorial service in Pasadena and a funeral in Texas, where she had lived for the past 18 years and raised her family along with her husband Wharlest. Through hurt and pain, her light continues to shine and it is evident in the life of her son, O'Shea.
Three years ago today, we published an article in the Pasadena Black Pages about things from business to family. Crystal had road her motorcycle from Texas to California because it had been something she wanted to do since she had gotten a motorcycle.
The year before, her son O'Shea had received a football scholarship to Colorado State University. Crystal was so proud because she came from a place where everyone was into athletics as she was growing up.
O'Shea didn't want to be in Colorado and after football season he went back to Texas. Crystal allowed her son to come home but he had to have a plan. She wasn't a passive mother at all. She was stern with her children because she knew how cold the world could be to the naive and ill-prepared. He enrolled in Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, TX.
Before that school year was over, Crystal was in a freak motorcycle accident and passed from the injuries she sustained.
Two communities were distraught. Here in Pasadena where she had so many friends and family members, and in Texas where she had friendships and bonds that had been created.
Wharlest was at a loss when she passed. Crystal's daughter, Torrian was doing her best to fill the shoes of her mom, but those shoes were unlimited in size, and O'Shea was confused. His number one cheerleader was gone.
O'Shea could have given up right then, but he didn't. He had family routing for him from California to Louisiana. He also knew his mother would never allow that if she was around, so he pushed through and received his Associate's Degree played football well enough at Trinity Valley that he received a scholarship from Northwestern State University in Louisianna. He also had an offer from Florida Atlantic University, but he told his father he didn't want to be that far away from home again.
On Friday, May 8, 2020, O'Shea received his Bachelor's degree in General Studies with a concentration in Social Sciences.
No matter what obstacles O’Shea has faced, he has preserved. I asked him how he made it through?
He texted me a scripture that his Mother openly lived by and a quote.
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a bright future." Jeremiah 29:11
“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about." Jonathan Harnisch.
What advice would you leave students?
"To keep grinding through all the shit you’re going through. It’ll eventually pay off."
Spoken like Crystal's son. Congratulations O'Shea Jackon for battling through.