HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MA!!!!
Today is my Grandma’s 78th Birthday and for maybe the first time since her death in ’09, I am okay with her not being here. I miss her more than words can express. I dealt with (and still battle with) anger revolving her death for so many years. Why her? Why not me? Why not someone else? But today, I am happy to say that I am okay. She is 78 years old and she is living the live she deserves with The Man Upstairs. I can’t wait to see her again. In honor of my Grandma’s birthday, I have decided to share 5 things that she taught me during our time together. Aside from the fishing, bingo, feeding the homeless/hungry, going to casinos (without my mom knowing, lol) and all of the other memories that I have of her, she taught me more than any other person on this Earth has. My grandma, even in death is my BIGGEST inspiration and motivation. She instilled so much wisdom in me at a very young age and I know for a fact that she is the reason I’m on the path that I’m on right now. She is going to be very proud of who I grow up to be. I love her dearly
1) Don’t EVER let a man tell you what to do: My grandma spent her younger years dealing with male dominance and being treated as if she was insignificant in comparison to a man. She’d been cheated on, lied to, and abused. But, as she grew older, she realized that that shit was for the birds. She told me and demonstrated to me time & time again that the only boss I should have, is myself. No man was going to oppress me, disrespect me, abuse me or undermine me as long as I had a voice.
2) Have Fun: We had SO much fun together. If it was simply staying in and making freeze cups and spaghetti or going out for a walk around the block to hang out at the neighborhood watch center, her presence and her enigma was just… fun. Every waking moment of her existence was filled with so much excitement and energy. Now, I have to remind myself to have fun. She was carefree (at least she appeared to be so to me). I deserve that carefree, black girl spirit and I am striving so hard to gain and maintain it.
3) God first. My grandma went to church with my mom & I every Sunday. She instilled in me at a very young age how important a relationship with God is. It’s about relationship. Not religion. Prayer was the pinnacle that would change things. Church was profit, not prayer.
4) Love yourself & Remember Who You Are: No one could tell Ginny Brock that she wasn’t the HOTTEST woman around. I laugh just thinking about her spunk. I can still see her getting dressed and strutting around that house. As long as she felt good, no one else’s opinion mattered. I miss that about her. She exuded so much confidence. I still struggle with that.
5) You are black and you are beautiful: She was CONSTANTLY telling me how cute I was. I was her favorite (no, really… I was). She showed me how to walk with my chin up, smiling no matter what. She allowed me to be the carefree little black doll that I needed to be. Being reminded of my beauty at a young age made me the (often) unshakeable force that I am today.
She showed me so much. Most of it, I struggle with daily. But, because of her, I know what I’m striving for. I love her so damn much. More than I can ever explain to anyone. I think of her and smile. I see her pictures and smile. She is my guardian angel and I am so grateful for everything she did for me and continues to do for me in spirit.