Portrait of a Grandmother
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Portrait of a Grandmother

Never saw the light in GrandmaÂ’s eyes fade; couldnÂ’t imagine such a thing. Even as her legs began to bow never imagined a wheelchair would ever become a part of such a picturesque frame.

When I think of Grandma

In my heart when I think of Grandma I see a handsome noble black woman in her early forties chasing a bowlegged three years old in a short pants navy-blue suit through Penn Station. She is surprised and laughs with some concern knowing full well the only way to catch the child is if and when he decides to stop. A smiling gentleman enchanted by the sight reaches out to lend a helping hand. “Here you go Miss. He is quite the energetic one.”… “Thanks, I don’t know what I’m going to do with that boy!”

Some years later, Ellington Street, grammar school, on a cold winter’s day in Dorchester, Massachusetts snuggled warm in his bed …. “I don’t want to go to school this day Grandma.” “What’s wrong son?”… “Not feeling so well.” An endearing smile, the eye contact that immediately recognized the same mischievous three years old playfully running through Penn Station…… “Okay! Grandma understands.”

When I think of my Grandma I see a woman well into her fifties. Long lost beaus who remember a romance deferred, engage in a chance to resurrect the memories and the fondest of a time gone by. How life was so magical then. The spirit of such things never die, a princess of the South conquering the hearts of many a Northern Cantabrigian. Gentleness, a coquettish innocent charm the likes that will never be seen again.

Time flies, another ten years has passed. Orchard Park, The New Edition, the subtle influence of a spirit and how it can affect the area around it, The Projects …… “Hi Mrs. Grant, how are you this morning?” …. “This cold weather does not agree with me. Think it may be time to visit home.”..... "Where’s home Mrs. Grant?” …. “Charleston, South Carolina”, she proudly says.

Then, there is Nana and the third generation’s children are around. There are lots of grandmas but for them there is only one Nana! “How old are you Nana?” “Boy that’s none of your business.” The laugh of a young girl is still there, forever present.

“How are you today Grandma?”…. “My arthritis is acting up. You know Grandma doesn’t like this cold weather.”….. “You are thinking about making another trip to Charleston huh?” There’s that smile again….. “Yeah son, you know it’s about time. Soon I think, yeah soon.”

Precious time as life goes on, “Nice graduation party! Say, how old did you say your Grandmother is?” …. “I don’t know. She won’t tell us. Why do you ask?”… “Because she out there doing the Bus Stop in the driveway with the kids.” …… Running to the window, “What! I didn’t know she could Bus Stop!” You would have had to see it to believe ……. My Grandma!

Never saw the light in Grandma’s eyes fade; couldn’t imagine such a thing. Even as her legs began to bow never imagined a wheelchair would ever become a part of such a picturesque frame…. “Yeah my Grandma is indestructible. Superwoman has an “M” on her chest. It stands for Marguerite.

Now in my heart, when I see my Grandma. ThereÂ’s the images of Joahd, Tonslyn, Jamal, Raymond, Michael, Nick (Ngawethu), Zee (Zachariah), Maya and Genvieve, a legacy that can live assured knowing what has been passed onto them is a special nobility, something gifted only by God. Be proud yes, and remember where you come from. It is a strength that will never fail and a life and a hope that will always endure.

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Comments (2)

That was just about the loveliest and loving tribute I have ever read.

Ranked #20 in Motherhood

Thanks Judith for your kind comment. I have been meaning to revisit this for sometime and make corrections. Since my gandma passed was not sure. Thanks for directing my attentions.