I was thinking about how we need our elders; our grandfathers and grandmothers just as much today as we did back then. We still need them more than we may know. They are carrying with them a certain knowledge that even the smartest fourth or fifty year old may not possess. They have a certain humbleness that comes with it. They have seasoned composure if you will.
I would like to talk to you about my great grandmother. She raised me for much of my life. She had a special love that you could feel down in your soul with every meal that she prepared for you, every time she would hug you, kiss you on your cheek, and when she would say something to me to discipline me when I didn’t behave my best as a child. I still felt the love that it came from. She didn’t have much. She had an old blanket that was literally passed down through generations dating back to slavery that was quilted together that she would spread over me and I lay in my bed that she had prepared for me. It was not made like the blankets that we have today. It had a different weight to it. The stitches were original and sown by hand and the patches looked like they were made over a long period of time from different torn articles of clothing. It was stuffed with real cotton picked in the fields. I loved that blanket. I was never cold.
My great grandmother used to be able to be insulted by someone and not get angry about it at all. She would have tears slowly stream down her face one at a time and she would just hum and sing old gospel hymns to herself as she rocked in her rocking chair on her porch. It hurt my soul to see her heart broken and hurt like that but I was a just a child and back then, you stayed out of grown folks business and you had to stay in your place. So, even when I knew who caused her the pain when that would happen, I kept quiet and just kissed her on her cheek to let her know that I love her. She would always just smile and it let me know that she knew what I meant and why I did it.
She was so strong. I never understood how those hymns helped her when she would be in so much pain until I grew older and someone started hurting me the same way and all I could do was cry. I began to start listening to old gospel spirituals and hymns just like she did and I felt what she felt. I began to feel better. I began to feel encouraged about what I was going through knowing that God said “vengeance is mine” and I didn’t want revenge anymore. I was just comforted knowing that they would reap everything that they were doing to me back and that the lord would give me the greatest and perfect comfort for my situation. Till this day, when I am mistreated, I think about her and I find myself doing the same thing even now.
Even though it may seem to the person who breaks your heart, insults, or disrespects you that they are getting away with it, they aren’t. My great grandmother was one of the strongest women I have ever known. I know she is happy in heaven now. She went through a lot to get there and one day, we will see each other again. Meanwhile, because of the fact that love is waxing cold in the hearts of people in this day and time, my goal is to be as strong as she was. Strong enough to get through it but not let it change me, make me bitter, or miserable. Just let go and let God the way that she did because someone is always watching and I would rather be a good example than a bad one. I have learned it doesn’t make a person better or bigger by hurting others. It shows them up instead and eventually it catches up with them. I rather remain classy, humble as possible, and let the lord deal with such things because he knows how to fix them much better than I do.
Be kind, stay safe, and stay alive.