LIFE is …
Current mood: humble
i went to trenton, NJ and spent time w/ my grandmother this past weekend.
she turned 94 on monday. i’ll always remaber her as a icon in her church and a pillar in the community. the baker. the church usher/officer. she owned and ran a little greasy spoon, fried fish spot for a while. it was my first example of a black enterpernuer. she’ll always be seenin my mind as that momma on the block that you know not to cut up in front of becasue she WOULD whip your ass and take you home to make sure you got anothe ass whuppin’! these are just a few of my memories of her …
her memory is starting to go nowadays … her zest for life hasn’t gone anywhere though!
almost as soon as i walked in she started askig about my sister and if my aunt was coming. then she asked me if is was married. i said no. my mother tried to divert the attention and announced that she and my father were talking about re-marrying. she told my mother that a man had proposed to her and she asked if he had any money.
“don’t get married unless he has a some money.”
i said “granny, that may be why i’m not married!”
we all laughed and inside i let lose a happy poor mans tear, but at that moment watching her laugh was more of a high than any amount of money.
we shared some great moment over the weekend. her telling my nephew he was a pretty little girl & him repsonding in the most asexully, bassless 8year old voice ” i’m not a little girl … i’m a boy.”
“but you have such pretty eyes”
“thank you.” he said w/ a innocent, appreciative humbling questioning tremblo in his voice. and a smile that i’m sure will have women chasing after him befoer he even gets to high school!
i love the way she told my mother that she needed more money. if she wated to go shopping for groeries she wouldn’t have any money.
my mother said “they cook for you. ou don’t need groceries.”
i know but if i wanted to cook i couldn’t”
“you don’t have a stove mom.”
“i know i just need to have 2 or $300 with me!”
she’s gettign hungry so i say lets go get something to eat. she want chinese food. shrimp fried rice! we’re on our way and we decide to drive down her old block . i don’t want just drive by so ai ask my mother to stop on the block.
i spent summers here on her stoop. just watching people walk by, playing w/ my cousin in the vacant lot that we weren’t suppossed to play in, flirting w/ the older girls and sneaking my first kiss behind the bushes between lil granny’s and ms. aldores house. this is where i started to learn the rules of the street. it’s also where my grandmother was QUEEN! she ruled new rose street w/ matriarical smoothness of a lioness. beautful in motion … but don’t do anything to make her stop and put her attention on you!
“lil granny” sat in the car as i jumped out to knock on the door of the dockery’s. they lived across the street form her. their, son & daughter, junie & trudy (my first crush!), were like big cousins to me. making them like my aunts and uncle. mr. dockery was sitting in the back yard and i walked up to the fence & he shouted …
“who dat there”
” it’s weusi”
“way! hey there. did you ring the bell? meet me at the door.”
the next thing i know mr. & mrs dockery are at the door sharing love like it was the summer of 78 and i had my tight navy blue shorts on w/ the yllow piping, yellow shirt to match and a green and yellow striped tube socks.
i spy across teh street to see my mother at the house next to the one that used to be my grandmothers, helping mrs aldore outside. now i jdut tought that ms. aldore was really popuar and that she used to sit on the porch and everyone used to talk to her. i didn’t know until maybe 5 years ago that she was the numbers lady on the block. she’s always ms. aldore to me.
anyway … they all came out to the car to show respect and share love. and then my 94 year old grandmother decided that she wanted to get out of the car and chill on the block and spend some time talking to old friends. i thought about how she raised her family on this block. she raised other peoples kids on this block. she laughed and cried on this block. new rose street between calhouhn & styvesant ave. here, where i earned the lessonn of survial in the city and was first bit by the bug and taken a fever w/ the love for the hustle and grind! she smiled and chatted w/ her friends. i could see the love. and as she looked around and my mom joked about my grandmothers memory in her eyes i saw hw granny was experincing all teh joys of new rose street in those too short moments. then we were off to eat. i saw her eyes swell as she held back the tears. which in turn caused me to do the same.
i LOVE my grandmother and i could go on and on … but i’m tearing up.
so not to stretch out this already long blog …
the breath of life is not a promise … engage your elders in moments & conversationa as if it may be their last. create new memories for them that they will enjoy!
in fact you should do the same for everyone .. all the time …
know theyself … not for your sake … but to provide a honest, positive, rooted, intellegent and godlike example for your commuity. this is never about you or i.
“we must position ourselve in narrative larger than ourselves”
my “lil granny” is larger than life! she’s one of those reminders that this is about so much more than me! i look forward to celebrating her and our love for each other and our commuinty when she’s 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106 … etc., etc. ETC …
i’m crying now … i gotta call her now …
ask me about going to church w/ her sunday! later though
and i want her to see a black president!