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An Angel Takes Flight


The city of angels has truly lost one of its loveliest and most divine angels. Jacqueline Avant, a philanthropist and the wife of music icon Clarence Avant was fatally shot in her home. At this time the Beverly Hills police would not speculate on whether Ms. Avant had been shot during an attempted robbery, and they also declined to describe the shooting as part of a home invasion. Ms. Avant was a loving mother and wife for more than 53 years. Her daughter Nicole said her mother was the wind beneath the wings for not only her family but also others she touched in the community. Her presence will be missed and her absence will be felt.

The loss of Mrs. Avant is also very personal to me. In 1979 at the tender age of 17, I moved to Los Angeles to begin my collegiate career at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). During my first year in a new city, I met a beautiful lady by the name of Jacqueline Avant who was working at the Museum of African American Art on the top floor at Macy’s in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall. After a brief conversation, she asked if I would be interested in volunteering at the museum and that she would teach me about art. She was soft-spoken with a gentle spirit, and I felt like I could really learn something being under her tutelage, and I did, about art and life.

Over the years Ms. Avant and I stayed in touch and when I started my event management company, she hired me to do an event at her home for Reverend Al Sharpton. Just being in her presence had a positive and profound effect on my life. They say mentoring comes in various ways. Sometimes it is official and other times it is unofficial. Jacqueline was my unofficial mentor. She always carried herself with grace and although she had been an EBONY Fashion Fair model and philanthropist, she never acted entitled or unapproachable. I am grateful for her quiet spirit that has left a lasting impression on me.

We are living in trying times. Every day we are hearing about sad and senseless situations. Lately, there has been a rise in burglaries and home invasions. A home invasion is described as a crime that is committed by an individual who enters a residence unlawfully while someone is home. Their intent is usually robbery but can also include violent crimes such as rape and or murder. According to nationsearch.com and the United States Department of Justice 38% of assaults and 60% of rapes occur during home invasions. It is estimated that over 2,000,000 homes will experience a break-in or burglary this year.

To help save others in the future and possibly even one of our own loved ones something has to be done about gun violence. There are too many shootings and killings happening today. When it comes to home invasions we have to try and do a good job of securing our homes. Home alarms and video cameras can help. I also read that having a dog can also be a good deterrent. Whatever the case we must keep our eyes wide open and use common sense as much as possible. Ultimately, we have to put our trust in God.

As we mourn the death of a true lady let us remember the words of Jesus in John14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The Lord’s peace gives us confident assurance even in the most difficult of circumstances. #jacquelineavant

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.

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