As the product of teenage parents, I’ve been blessed to have a grandmother with wisdom, learned experiences and a view that was always outside of the box. She is a fine woman. She has class, brains and a big ass heart! A heart that has truly loved me unconditionally and more than I’ve ever been loved yet. Granny has always been misunderstood by others, mostly by her own children. She’s blunt and can definitely sting when she is pissed off. However, her overall make up is love and kindness. So before I go on and on about her and end up crying (lol), let me give you a little background information on how I landed in her loving care.
Frances is a mother of 11 children and my mother is number nine, the baby girl. At 17 years old my mother became pregnant with me and around this time, legal abortions were in the making. Yup, an abortion! My grandmother was disappointed for sure. I’m sure that is a legitimate feeling any mother may feel if their 17 year old daughter would come to them to tell them “I’m pregnant.” Talk about a gut punch. Frances, my grandmother, my GRANNY wanted my mother to have an abortion with me. Something I’ve actually heard my relatives tease my grandmother about. “Look atcha! You wanted her to have an abortion with her, but now she’s your faaaavorite.” Now, I have no clue how the conversation about the abortion went exactly, but I know for sure the idea of an abortion was not speculated because Frances is very clear with her words, and again, she could sting your whole insides with the words she chooses to use. And for Trina, my mother, she was not having it. I honestly don’t know if my mother kept me because she was crazy in love with my father and thought maybe keeping me would keep him or if it was something she just could not do. I actually know how she personally feels about abortions (for herself that is), so I honestly am going to go with both reasons speculated. At this time, neither of that is either here nor there because MEIA IS HERE NOW! (Smile)
So, Meia was born, and 22 months later, my brother was born. So now, Frances has a 19/20 year old baby girl with two babies of her own. I would imagine that’s definitely not the life she would imagine for her baby girl. As a result, life hit my mother HARD! Therefore, landing me in the care of my Granny at the tender age of three or four. I started school in Atlanta, and went back to New York (where I was born) when I was around six or seven years old (2nd grade), when my mother got well and back on her feet. After graduating from fifth grade, I moved back to Atlanta with my grandmother. From my understanding, she and my mom thought the idea of Junior High School in New York was not safe for me. Around this time, a few stabbings were reported to have happened in the school that was closest to us; the school I assume my mother was thinking of enrolling me in. Plus, I missed being with my grandmother and I’m sure she missed me. She was responsible, consistent, emotionally giving and loving. She spent quality time with me during her off times. Whether we were in the house or out in the streets, we were two peas in a pod. She actually took an interest in me, and she allowed me to ask the things I wanted to know. Hence, why I’m so inquisitive today. She has shared with me, that I was adorable and kind. I was easy to raise. I followed the rules, I was respectful, and spoke when spoken to. I didn’t challenge her, even when I became a teenager, which is when my suffrage from PMS became known; which is another thing she noticed and educated me on. Today, there is no doubt that she’s the primary reason why I love and parent the way that I do.
Please know, my mother was involved. I visited New York once or twice a year. She’d travel down to Atlanta, send money and pay for some large purchases and call every single day, literally. Though I was not under her roof, I knew that she at least cared. Although, I never heard her say, “I love you” while growing up, she definitely showed up and financially supported us when she could and that told me she cared.
Ok, moving back on to Granny. While in the care of my grandmother I learned a number of things. To name a few; I learned to love, consider others and think outside of myself. Yet and still, I silently suffered. In hind sight, I was depressed for sure, but Granny’s love always filled my love tank. And today, that still takes place. Yesterday, my sister and I went to Granny’s place to spend some time with her. That was so much fun. When she started talking, I realized, “I should really record this conversation”. Hell, I need to record all type of these conversations with her. The latter part of 2017, I bought a journal titled “Just between us” specific between a grandmother and granddaughter. But Granny couldn’t read the fine print. So she never returned it back to me with her portion completed. Back to the moment; I asked where that journal was so that I could get some of the information we were talking about in writing. I’m sure later in life when she leaves this earth, I’d wish to reference back into the journal with her portion written in her handwriting. However, the laughter we experienced should definitely make up for that. Not to mention, I started audio recording the conversation (smile). The time together was priceless. Granny shared her favorite recipe (which is mine), favorite hobby, favorite age and her favorite things about and with me. It was so nostalgic. It had me reflect back to those times that I actually forgot about. SMH. However, I walked away telling my sister more about those moments Granny shared. We actually went to Greenbriar Mall after leaving Granny’s and I was able to show her where the dollar movie theater was that Granny spoke about. Granny shared the dollar movie dates to Greenbriar Mall as her favorite moments with me. The day was so beautiful, for more reasons than one.
Now, in this conversation with Granny, I became aware of our generational curses. Something that actually triggered me. She shared an awful story about the aunt she later learned was her sister. Basically her mother was molested or raped (unclear as to which) by an uncle through marriage. Of course, that brought back some awful memories of my own personal experiences. Yet, it was a great reminder of the resiliency that runs through my blood.
I can go on and on about my life with my grandmother and the good she placed into my life. But I’d rather give you the lessons I picked up on from yesterday. Throughout the good times we reminisced about, it was some major hardships and pain that happened to me during this time. I was molested by the first offender at the age of three before I made it to my grandmother’s. Then before I made it back to New York with my mother in the 2nd grade, I was molested by two more men. My mother and a couple of her sisters wrestled with drug use and my father was missing in action. Now, I can keep on going but those stories are not the point for this post. The point of this post is; spend some quality time with your elders and those that can bring joy to your soul because they are a great reminder of what life should be and the good you once experienced before your hardships stole your memory of the good that actually was once in it. Life should be loving, warm and full of laughter. Yesterday, Granny reminded me that I had good moments in the mist of all of my hell. I knew I had them through her but my life had been so dark that I literally could not remember the good times. I only have images of my horrific moments. Moving on to the point. If you’re struggling and soaking in sadness, seek love. Love from your best friend, cousin, aunt, mother or even the love of your grandmother. I’m sure they’ll be able to put some calm into your heart and soul and remind you of the joys of life. I know my Granny did!