It's true. The AACC is finally starting up again, not without its bumps, bruises and scars. I have begun the process of getting all the paperwork together; filling out the forms, adding this with that, copy this and copy that, writing and defining and also projecting what is to potentially be our greatest success for the community. I was up until 4 a.m. to make sure I had everything in its place, in order and ready to get it sent to the powers that be in over night delivery. 
This, for me, is a huge undertaking for many reasons. As everyone knows, my father, the founder of the AACC passed last month, December 3rd. That in itself is hard to deal with. He was a man's man, strong, innovative, funny... and my dad. Now, through the encouragement of others and the memory and legacy of my dad,  I'm carrying on what he started back in 1997, a non-profit organization for the betterment of cultural enrichment, diversity and awareness. 
 Whew... that's a mouthful. Thankfully I had already been involved in the AACC doing various work. I did office support, management, teaching, coaching, planning, board member, janitorial, networking, etc... many hats to prepare me ready for this new role. I have to say that I had no idea, no plan to ever take on such a huge, purposeful role in the AACC. I used to say to my dad, "this is your dream, your vision. Not mine." But, dad in his own way, as a parent new what my strengths and passions were. He knew I loved working there, serving the community, having a higher purpose and he knew, I believe, that in his heart it was always his plan to have me take this role. He knew, and I think he was waiting for me to realize that this is what it was all for, now he can rest. 

I miss my dad very much. More than I ever thought I would. Doing this work makes me feel closer to him, yet at times I feel sad because I cannot talk to him or see him. I drive by the first building where we did so much of our ground breaking work. I see the windows where I painted our sign, the three different doors that were all part of our organization is now three different businesses. I see the drive thru fast food I used to walk to on breaks for a soda on a hot day, (yes... we had some) and I even drove in the back alley to see our old parking spots and the fence that we had for our summer youth program. I smiled at the memories and cried at the loss of my dad begging for him to come back.
 I know that working there was the beginning of great things to come and I know my dad is with me, helping me and making sure I get this where its supposed to be. He didn't start this for nothing. He had a dream and a vision. He set the path, now he rests as I prepare to work.   

~Tamara Lombard