My Grandmother was truly a phenomenal woman. She was one of the first homeowners in our family (during the 60’s). She was an entrepreneur, community leader, woman of integrity and devout Christian. With a mere sixth grade education, she rivaled and was respected by all her friends (mostly doctors, lawyers and political hopefuls), and who surprisingly were our neighbors. Everyone loved Grandma, but I especially adored her. I have no doubt, she was God-sent and her unconditional love set me on an irreversible course that changed my life.
It seems like yesterday. I was age 5–the eldest of four siblings with only two years separating each of us. We lived on a small street that could best be described as an “alley.” My parents were young and sucked at parenting. My father worked nights and my mother “partied” day and night.
One fateful morning when we had been left alone and neighbors believed us abandoned, a woman whom I later learned was a social worker came to take us away. (Even at that young age I remember being terrified.) That day my brothers and sister were taken away to foster homes where they remained until they aged-out of the system. But a miracle happened for me that day–my grandmother took me home with her and raised me until her death when I was age 18.
I do not know why she chose me. I only know I have never known the kind of love we shared before or since. Grandma was my everything and I was the “apple of her eye.” She taught me so much about life and I treasured her every word. First and foremost, she taught me to “Love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, and might” and to place nothing above Him. She taught me to always follow my dreams and to never to give up or settle. Her special Mantra was, “with belief in yourself, hard work and dedication anyone can do anything.
My grandma was my heroine–my Angel–my mother and best friend, and my greatest desire is to be just like her. The pain I experienced since her loss, and the emptiness I still feel, remains unparalleled. I was blessed during our few precious years together and was especially grateful to be at her bedside as she departed this life. I held her hand as she took her last fleeting breath and vowed to make her proud of the life she made possible for me. Thank you Grandma for everything. Had it not been for the Lord who was on my side, the Grace of a great God, and the tender loving care of a grandmother who groomed me for greatness, I don’t know where I would be today.