I’m so proud to have had this woman as a grandmother. Margaret, AKA Ms. Sis, AKA Granny, to me.
She was feisty. That’s my predominant remembrance of her. As I grew older, I came to realize she had no choice but to be feisty. Life dealt her a difficult hand to play.
Born to a Black father and Caucasian mother at a time it wasn’t legal for her parents to be married, so they weren’t. However, her parents stayed together and raised all of their children together.
Growing up in that era came with its own set of dehumanizing situations.
Granny married my grandfather, and they were married until he passed when I was in middle school. She saw marital commitment and lived it out in her own life. This realization is new to me, and it’s all the more reason I’m so proud of who I come from.
My grandmother endured several traumas in her 77 years of lfe.
Her youngest child was killed when my grandparents’ home was intentionally set on fire. My 20-year old Uncle Jimmy, just a year out of high school, died in the fire. The house was nearly burned to the ground, rendering it uninhabitable.
The reason for their hateful act was my uncle dating a Caucasian girl. The fact he was part Caucasian himself didn’t matter. It was the Black part they hated.
My other uncle was severely burned by the fire and bore the scars from it the rest of his life.
This is the point in time I have the clearest memories of Granny. After the fire I can recall seeing her at a neighbor’s house. There was a true sense of community back then. The neighbors took my grandparents in as they had no home. Granny was just quiet. She sat in silence. I cannot imagine the emotions she felt; anger, pain, grief, so many emotions had to be boiling on the inside. Yet, she sat in silence.
How does a mother process the murder of her child? To add to her wounds, there was no investigation so the perpetrators were never brought to justice.
Had that been the end of her traumatizing life occurrences, it would have been enough for one woman. Sadly, that was not the end.
Her husband, my amazing grandfather, was killed in a car crash due to the carelessness of a drunk driver. He had been diagnosed with cancer, but God healed him before the crash! We thought we would have him with us for many more years.
Her only other son drowned when he was 35 years young. And yes, he is the same son that survived the house fire with severe burns.
The oldest grandson of her 11 grandchildren was shot and killed at 33 years of age.
The family tragedies took a toll on Granny. She suffered several strokes, which left her with speech and mobility limitations. She maintained her independence longer than her adult children thought she would. Only after falling one too many times at home did they make the decision to place her in a nursing home.
Every seven years from 1973 to 1994, Granny lost a significant male member of her family, all in every tragic ways; two murders, a drowning, and car crash by drunk driver. How much should one woman have to face in a lifetime?
Feisty? Yeah, I think she had every reason and right to be!
Granny was known as Ms. Sis and Sis has been my nickname since childhood. So, the bottom line is this….
YOU CANNOT BREAK ME, LIFE!
I’ll give you an A for effort, but you’ve failed and will continue to fail.
I come from strength and fortitude. It’s in my natural DNA as well as my spiritual DNA.
Like Granny, you may see me sit in silence occasionally as I process situations of life, but just know this…I’m good!
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.