Linwood Frazier has one piece of advice for young people: Don’t listen to it.
“Everybody has to find their own way,” the 67-year-old lifelong North Philadelphian said. “You need to learn from your own mistakes, not someone else’s.”
Frazier, who had a stroke in 1986, said he ignored signs his health was in decline. Although he said he constantly worked after high school as a shoe shiner, cook, cab driver and even for Temple in the 1970s, he wasn’t always healthy.
While unwrapping presents with his family at a Christmas gathering, Frazier began to feel numbness in his left hand. But after blacking out, he returned to bars, partying and a reckless lifestyle.
“I didn’t see them as signs then,” Frazier said.
The eventual stroke affected the left side of his body, and Frazier walks slowly holding a tan cane with his right hand.
But Frazier said he doesn’t regret how anything in his life came to be. With three children and grandchildren, he still has company.
“Life is beautiful if you can find it,” Frazier said. “It took me a long time to find it, but I’m sure glad I did.”
Ashley Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.