As I didn’t get a chance to say it before, let me say it now: Happy New Year. Thank you to all of you who offered your condolences, warm thoughts, support and prayers in the passing of my mother. Big thanks to George Weldon Funeral Home for doing an excellent job. From beginning to end, their combination of professionalism and compassion made the process as smooth and easy as one could expect. I recommend them highly.

Special thanks to Father Patrick Williams and the staff at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church for accommodating all of our wishes. To my singers, Harry Burney and Irenda Gates, the incomparable Sherman Spann on piano, whom I miss terribly at St. Charles, and my readers Brenda Dillon Cavette, Genie Street and Tiara Palmer, I love you all dearly.

It was heartwarming to see Assemblyman Keith Wright there chatting and catching up with our mutual childhood friends Keith Hanley, Roger Wareham with sister Lynn Howell, (there with BFF Toni Faye) and Bert Belasco, who was also a reader. Roger and Lynn’s mom, Helene, who passed away a couple of years ago, was a long-time friend of my mom’s. They were also bridge partners and both Aquarians!

To members of the Hillbillies social club, of which my mother was a member, Nola Whiteman, Cloe Stentson and newly elected President Kyndell Reid, Mom was proud to be a member. We were honored by the presence of Judge Debra James and newly elected District Leader Earnestine Bell-Temple. Community leader Cleveland Manley, whose own mother passed away just about a year ago came to pay his respects, as did Pastor Kelly, who sponsors the Thanksgiving dinners at the PAL Center every year, where she feeds hundreds.

Thank you to the Ladies Club of River Terrace and Gabriella Styler for hosting a superb repast. Yum. To all of the others too numerous to mention, you were special to my mom and I will always carry on the tradition.

As Mom would want us to carry on, what’s new? Opinions have been flying around all over the place with regards to President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union address. Whatever your opinion, we can all agree on one thing: Obama has carried himself with the dignity, respect and integrity that is expected of a president. His love and passion for the office and for the United States of America is unquestionable, and for that and much more, we can be proud.

The old year went out and the new one came in with so much fanfare that I didn’t have a chance to mention that the Greater New York Chapter of the Links’ Health and Human Services Facet with the the New York Foundation for Seniors helped sponsor the Christmas holiday luncheon at Alma Rangel Gardens in Harlem. Alma Rangel welcomed the residents and staff to a delicious lunch and entertainment, provided by Anne Greenup. GNY Links hostesses included Marcella Maxwell, Michelle Stent, Deborah Whitfield, Linda Zango-Haley, Deborah Jackson and Grace Ingelton. Part of the festivities were gifts for everyone, along with health and wellness information packets provided by MetroPlus Health Plan. A good time was had by all!

2016 is going to be the year that Harlem becomes the new in place to dine, as a new eatery pops up every week. I don’t see a sign as yet on this week’s new in-spot, but the number on the door says 175 and it is located on Lenox Avenue at 120th Street, so I will just call it the 175 spot. The interior is quite visible from the outside, and it really looks cozy. It’s on my “checkout list.”

A City MD has opened on 135th Street off Lenox and the new mall under construction across the street looks promising. It won’t be long before the doors are open for business.

Harlem is changing right before our eyes. A special thanks to Officer Glass of the Manhattan North Command Center for his humanitarianism, follow-through and showing that he cares. It means a lot.

Happy birthday, Genie Street, Harvey Young, Denise Borden Miller and my dad, Wilbur DeLaney, who was born on the 13th and died on the 14th in 2000. In one day and out the next as he would say.

How are you coming along with your resolutions? I am remembering to drink more water and have added another one: practice what you preach. So often people ask me for my advice, which I give wholeheartedly, but do I follow it myself? Only sometimes. Well, this year it is going to be all the time.

Until next week … kisses.