An Open Letter to an Old Friend

Markel O. Mazelin, a former stylist for Journey Magazine, passed away this year. He will be remembered for his support, creativity and love. In this letter, Journey’s former Editor-in-Chief Gina Cherelus wax poetic about how it felt to not only “Meet The Mark” but to have him as a good friend. 

Words by: Gina Cherelus, Editor-in-Chief of Journey magazine ’13-’14

Dear Markel,

I don’t know how to feel about you being gone. For a while it didn’t feel real. I tried to avoid it but the internet makes that impossible these days. That’s okay though, it was something we all needed to accept. I won’t question timing, it’ll just make me more frustrated at your sudden departure. But I can’t fathom a world where I won’t be able to hear you wax poetically about music, conspire about the ways of the world, your great advice on my life (romance and all), your encouragement when it came to following my goals and seeing you put your creative ideas to action. I never expected to lose a close friend so abruptly. It hurts.

Since meeting you in my late adolescence, I immediately noticed how you read the world so well. You’d even make me question whether or not I really knew how to speak the language sometimes. I’ll look forward to your visits in my dreams, Markie. And if you can’t make it, I understand, you were loved by many and there’s a lot of visits to be made. I am perfectly content with conjuring your memory in a daydream. I’ve already spent the past few days replaying the sound of your voice mimicking that horrible Haitian accent you’d do when I told you some news, “Oh! Oh! Gee-Nah!” Or when you’d bellow out that contagious laugh after hearing something funny. The one where your head would fly back, your smile would get wide and your eyes would disappear. That brought me so much joy. Still does.

 

Like many, I’ll miss our long talks. I’ll miss talking about music and documentaries and films. I’ll miss hearing you talk about your love for fashion and culture. I’ll miss putting one in the air together. To be honest, moving away and new careers have made it hard for those things to continue even when you were alive but we tried. I know now that it still counts for something. Thank you for loving me.I spoke to your mama a day after we got the news you were gone. I see where you got some of your most-loved characteristics from. You use to talk about how much she meant to you so often. Little did I know, you talked to her about me too. She asked me about New York. We talked about your greatness. In her darkest hour, she contributed to my healing. I will be forever thankful for that.


“Legacy is planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” Lin-Manuel Miranda said this. And it reflects the kind of person you aspired to be. You loved learning so much that you sought more than what a class could offer. Not only did you love the world and the people in it but you wanted to change it and make it better. You actively worked on staining the hearts of many with positivity, love and peace. You hustled hard and, even in death, I don’t see that stopping. Your life, even at its end, brought old tribes back together (“The Summit” and its special guest, haha), has reminded us to tell someone we love them and pushed us to work even harder to achieve our dreams. We will carry that hustling spirit on your behalf. I think I can speak for some of us when I say that part of our future successes will be a testament to your life.


This year has been tough, Markie. And I know, you’d want us to power through and keep rising. You had that positivity that was unmatched and I will try very hard to embody it. Maybe now that you’ve entered a new, eternal existence you can convince the powers-that-be to put 2016 in rice. Yes, my corniness is still unmatched ;). Please watch over us angel. I’ll always love you. 

END.

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