Wednesday, February 13, 2008

a diamond treated like glass

Now for me, i'm down to 3 generations. For my son and daughter, they still have four. But not me, my granny died and may have left me, but she will always be in my heart, maybe that is why the sporadic crying existed. But yawl don’t feel me though. I remember, at least from age nine, going down either via plane or bus, to Macon, to kick it with my grand mother. My momma, although she and my birth father divorced before I was two, made sure that I spent quality time with my grandma on his side of the family. I can still remember the old house, on the Eastside of Macon, on 1109 Boone Street. Every time I was on that dirt road her house was on, I got excited. She would always take me in the kitchen and my Aunt, her daughter would give me her room for the summer and she would sleep with my grandma in that two-bedroom edifice. Instantly, she would start making me one of her citywide and well know pound cakes. And as I waited, she would always slice me up fresh cucumbers out of her garden and put them in a bowl with vinegar, salt and pepper.

My aunt ran a record shop and some days, I would spend the day with her and would always find myself playing in the back room where she had all of the black light posters. I remember it like yesterday. My mom flew down for her funeral. That is what type of woman she is. In fact that’s the kind of woman I want. Even if remarried, to respect me as such. My son’s mother is like that. Maybe that’s why the first scripture was Proverb 31 – that was indeed my granny. She made sure I had checks coming all the time, and she knew and often said about my father “That N***** aint shit.”

I mean, If my other granny died, I don’t think my birth father would be ma enough or respectful enough to do the same. You see, I never really met him until I was Junior in college. He never called, nor did he write or provide for me in all of my years. He was not at my high school graduation, nor my undergraduate or my graduations for my Master’s or PhD. He wasn’t around when my son, nor my daughter were born. He didn’t care. And now I find it strange, that he even refers to or attempts to call my son and daughter his grand children. I don’t have any bad blood, I just do not see him as that which he claims to be: my father or their grand father.

At the funeral, my mother, children and I road in the first limo with he, his wife, and daughter, and my Aunt. Now I do consider her my sister, because she loves me and shows it, and also loves my kids. They know more about her, my granny and her daughter – my aunt than they do of him. I have no more tears for my granny, for in all of her life I only saw and felt love and compassion and as a person, I never heard her complain at all. She was that humble.

In the church, she laid there, in her pink coffin, with her pink dress on, looking like the queen she was. My sister held on to me. I had to whisper in her ear not to cry, for granny was lucky to have had the greatest grand children in the world, for we made her proud. All she could do was smile, wipe her eyes and squeeze my hand tighter. While I was sitting on the front pew, I couldn’t help but remember how big the church was when I was a child. But looking at it now, it wasn’t so big at all. In fact the opposite. But it had style. On the left hand side were I was sitting, were women all in white. The minister, as my mom called him was old school. He would hum after every sentence and if it got good to him, he would extend his words in chord form, and kneel down to the ground and rise. The organ player would embellish his chants with staccato-riffed chords that seem to make his kneels to the ground longer.
But to make a long story short, it has been a long week. My granny is gone, but she lived 89 long and wonderful years. Now I have one left, and she is 87. Both of them are diamonds. They were as such, even when people treated them like glass. The first scripture they read described my grandma to a tee – Proverbs 31. However, her favorite scripture was Psalms 37. And we all know how the first lines read:

“Fret not yourself because of the wicked,
Be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
And wither like the green herb.”

Yep, grandma Hazel, like my grandma Virgie are diamonds, and remained diamonds, even when other treated them like glass.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

BRAVO!!!!

The True Urban Queen said...

Sorry,about your loss. The wonderful thing is, you have loving memories to share with your children. And pass on to them,all the knowledge she has taught you.
Hopefully, you can make peace with your father. Always remain the bigger person. Still teach your children to honor and respect him. Not wanting to sound preachy :)

"D" said...

Peace Torrance!

Your Grandmother did have the best Grandchildren! What a heartfelt and well written ode!

My mother was similar to yours in the fact that she always made sure we had a rappor with my fathers family and especially his mother. I loved my grandmom and she spent so much time investing in us kids to teach us what she knew of love. I often wondered how a man such as my father could have come from her. But it just goes to show that we are all more or less a product of our conditioning. We either yield to the teaching or become the exact opposite but either way, the cause is still in the effect.

I wish that more women and young women would demand the respect they deserve. Not because they are better or worse for being on this earth in the form of a female. But because women are the givers of life. If the givers of life themselves are degraded and used, how then can they bring forth a life force and raise it with the proper balance? That is what is wrong with our youth, they are also a product of their conditioning and unfortunately most of the women now a days raise their kids with TV and attainment. Our children are not shown that just being in the presence of our kids singing a song is so valuable to them. They don’t need the newest gadget or the name brand things. Nor do they need to be taught by the media. What they need in human relationship.

Just like the one your grandmother shared with you!

One Love,
Deanna

PrettyBlack said...

Written with total and complete love and respect...Proverbs 31: 10 til the end.

Your youth sounds like mine. I couldn't wait to get to Beaumont on Poplar street, 2027 Poplar street. My Auntie used to give us beets in vinegar...Too funny.

Or pick figs out of the backyard and make preserves...Hmmm it's nice to have the memories.

Kyle E. Moore said...

My deepest condolences.

Skoolboi Krush said...

I'm sorry for you loss but celebrate a life well lived by your grandmother.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Anon - thank u

Tru urban queen - I teach them to respect him, and the hurt for him is seeing the bond my so and i have. and u dont sound preachy to me, thanks for the drive by and do return pls

D - thanks, and thats all she did was love, and lie i said, her fav was psalms 37. she was the bomb, and so is my other granny

Pretty black - from the way your mans smiles on your pics, i know you foul mouth self is puttin it down u ALL woman u

Kyle E. Moore - i accept your feelings with the greatest honor and espect. thank u

skoolboi - thanks folk, sorry i been out the loop shoot me an email and leave a number, maybe we canbooze a lil sat

Marleaux said...

Your grandmother sounds like a beautiful soul, like most black grandmothers. A diamond indeed

I really need to get back on the visits with mine. I usually go once a month, but I've been slacking. We still talk for hours each week though.

Anonymous said...

Some deaths shock us because they are unexpected. Some deaths are welcome because they are preceded by a long and painful illness. But other deaths, they just seem organic.

When a grandmother dies, we are sad because we will never see them walking through the door again. But, my grandma died in the 1980s and hardly a day goes by that she does not reveal herself in some way...usually in the form of a "buttermilk sky" or the pie case at a local greasy-spoon diner.

My grandma had style and was a real go-getter...but she didn't have a gosh darn pink casket! Whoo Hoo! I think your grams is somebody I would have liked to have met. I'm sorry for your loss, but you'll be hearing from that woman soon. Just look for her. She'll speak to you through road signs, bumper stickers and pieces of pie.

Aunt Jackie said...

ooh you got me over here thinking about Bettye Opal, my dearly departed Grandmother. '

Even through your pain I appreciate you sharing such vivid portraits of family and love. you are truly blessed and i'm sure you know this.

Losing my Grandmother left a hole in my heart as big as the sky, but she is still my angel, no longer my earth angel, but my angel on high and I feel her spirit constantly as I am sure that your Grandmother's spirit will work as your protection and your guide.

We are such much more than these bodies we wear, something I never understood until I lost my Grandmother.

Stay Blessed!

dejanae said...

take comfort in your memories of her and know that in them, some part of her lingers upon this earth.

Cluizel said...

You seem to have had fabulous memories of your youth with your Gramdma.

My condolences

DCup said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother.

Peace to you and your family.

Curious said...

Reading this, for a moment I was there. Not just at the funeral, but back at the house on Boone St. Surely, it must have been a house full of love for you to have kept those memories.

And the "black light posters" in the back makes me wonder if we are related, 'cause those are my memories.

Now I'm not preaching cause its not my business, but no matter how you feel about your father, you still have other diamonds in your family like you said. Grandma Virgie for one but also the 2 little ones that I'm sure you haven't finished polishing yet. So when you're ready, try to think about healing what ever rift you have with your father so the kids don't have to take sides. I'm sure it would make Grandma Hazel smile.

Peace & Love

VAR said...

Amen T,

Whew.. just reading this reminds me so much of my grandmother, Senora. Even the pound cake I can taste because she made me the same thing whenever I spent my summers down in east Texas on my grandparents farm. She also made this incredible white cake with rich frosting that my grandfather used to call "boo-boo." Man, we must be folk because you really brought me back with this one.. Your granny is yet another reason why you are blessed. Dont make me write another tribute to you..lol.. Much love... Keep her memory strong...

jali said...

It was good for me to read this today. Feb 13 and 14 are the hardest days of the year for Lynda, my sister and me to go through.

My mother's birthday was Feb 13th. When my parent's relationship was new, my father forgot her birthday and suffered the serious cold shoulder. He never missed it after that and also made a really big deal of Valentine's Day for my Mom and his little girls. It was a ritual - the handing out of cards and candy in the morning before school. My Dad would stand there as we opened the candy and let us sneak "just one" before breakfast.

My parents made sure we knew we were loved. I had to call my sister last night - these are a rough couple of days.

Daddy passed in 1983.Mommy in 2000.

I didn't mean to do a whole post on your page - it was just in me this morning.

I'm glad you and your sister made your Grandma proud.

GiGi - The Shy Giraffe said...

My condolence for your lost Torrance. I know it hurts to let go of one that you love and respect dearly.

You will always have the memories...

Tamra said...

Torrance,

Not quite sure what to say except that I'm so sorry for your loss, and thank you so much for sharing your grandmother with us. She sounds like a wonderful woman.

Tera said...

Nice...very nice!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

tera - thank u and do return one day if u can

Tamra & GiGi The Shy Giraffe - its cool and thanks, had to get it out of me to move on

jali - its cool, my page is your page and its grat to lt it out, i wish more men could do it i feel free now

Var - thanks folk, its always a good look coming from u

Curious - i have, its just he has placed this pain on him and cant le it out, them were my granny words not mine, im not vendictive, just calling it like i see it, more consternation than anything

Dcup - no problem, reading your site and the others has helped me focus and get through this, and thanks for your compassion

Cluizel - yep, that she was and i do have

dejanae - thanks hon, and i do, and thats what this post was for me

Anon - lol, thanks for the smile, yep, she was flossing t the grave

Marleaux - yep u need too, outside of tha sound like sh your girl, talking tha long. thanks, hope u had a great trip

BeautyinBaltimore said...

I'm sorry to hear about your granny, I hope you are feeling better.

I don't mind if you blogroll me.

Jaded said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. That kind of love and respect transcends death...such a blessing.

Tony OH said...

Eighty nine is a blessing Bro, my granny got eighty seven and in these stress filled days that's truly a blessing. Just pray that we can get at least as many if not more. Peace Bro...

jameil1922 said...

grandmas are something else. man pound cakes. my grandma's specialties are her pies and apple butter. apples from her tree out back in mississippi. both of those passages are very encouraging.

The Bear Maiden said...

"Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies..." I didn't even have to follow the link cuz we read that proverb every Saturday for as long as we held Sabbath Service together. I always found it interesting that "rubies" was more valuable than diamonds, in that context.

Anyway. Old School values. I wish more people had them. I think losing the old folks makes you realize how precious those values are... how rare they seem to be these days.

But it's the old folks that give us those values... reinforce them. And somehow in their passing, it makes you want to hold on to those values tighter, to pass them on to your children.

When Grandpa left, despite all his "isms" and whatever weird business he had going on... he was a gentleman. He had class. He was loyal... and all those good qualities of his, I try instill in my Sun. So that he'll be a gentleman when he grows up.

I know you'll hurt for a long while, even when you stop crying. But I said the other day, and I mean it... Granny will always be there whispering in your heart. You'll see life through her eyes.. find things that make you laugh because you know if she saw them, she'd point them out to you and laugh. Take joy in the fact that you will always remember her... and so will your kids, because you will keep her memory, her values alive in them.

Positive Healing Vibes to you...

Koffee Dyme said...

Beautiful Post.. This my favorite. I smiled reading this...

In my mind its this, you may have lost a wonderful woman, but she is forever in your heart.

memphiz said...

see this is what I'm talking about..you my type of man...so deep! You keep strong! It's so great that you have those memories of your grandma you tell your kids all about them. Also thanks for the love!

Peace & Blessings & Hugs as always!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Beauth in baltimore - thanks for the supor and blessings hon and u are rolled

Memphiz - thanks hon, i just ant u to keep your head up, ok

Koffee - your favorite, for real y thanks u again

Bear Maiden - now u see y I said what i said to your post, i wasnt rationalization, it was she who told me to be patient, and my other granny would always say, somebody got to be number one, may as wel be you, if u a ditch digger, then the will always call torrance to dig that ditch....so blame them on my faith and belief in myself and creating m own reality

1922 u said it right there, aint tha the truth


Tone - good lookin folk, im glad to have your support eac and every day


Jaded - thank u, its her beauty, well the oth of them that encapsulates my spirit the most, next to my children

tayo said...

What a fitting tribute!

A.Tiara said...

I'm sorry about your loss:-(

This was a moving post. I can see just how much you loved your grandma. Like you said you were able to spend 89 wonderful years with her so cherish those memories.

Happy Valentines Day:-)

BuelahMan said...

Beautiful, brother.

Tommy Korioth said...

My deepest condolences.

You're a good writer. Keep it up.

T. Korioth

Ma'at said...

This was wonderful T. I definitely understand the love of Grandma, cause there's nothing like having a good one.

Mizrepresent said...

That was truly beautiful T...no doubt you gonna have and appreciate the same kind of woman in your life...you come up from good blood.

Aunt Jackie said...

just wanted to send you some valentines day loving...

hope you get you some sweetness!

Ellie said...

My condolences. As several have said before me, this is an opportunity to share your grandmother's wisdom and love with your children and loved ones. What a precious gift.

Shelia said...

Very beautiful. My condolences to you and your family. Blessings. :D

Rayo said...

Hmm...a beautiful ode to a beautiful woman. Once again, my condolences.

Meikmeika said...

What a beautiful post. My condolences go out to you and your family.

(Olivia) said...

I'm very sorry about your grandma!
I only have one left as well.

Wow, I took the title all wrong.
I thought it was a good thing (strong, beautiful gem being handled with the greatest care).
But, I see what you meant now.

I wish you, and your family, strength during this difficult time.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Olivia - thank u very much and do return hon


Meikmeika - thanks for the support and i am glad u liked it, maybe u can visit again sometime, albeit i write what i feel

Shelia - thank u, but im back to blogging now, had to get out my fav tennis pro

Rayo - u know u my girl, and thanks for the prayers

Ellie - it is grreatly appreciated

Aunt Jackie - thanks sweetheart, i didnt have a valentine , other than me myself and I

Miz - thanks, id like to think i come from good blood

Maat - u said a mouthful and thanks

Tommy - thanks for the support and the complement, and i chked your spot out, im gonna roll u if u dont mind

BuelahMan - thank brother, you good people, and you crack me up on your blog

A.Tiara - thank sweety

tayo - i appreciate the love dear

Keli said...

Beautiful...I loss my granny when I was 11...yet she is always with me.

Thank you for sharing.

professor said...

sorry for your loss...I have yet to lose someone really close so excuse me if I sound to blase...in the physical life and death are one...you experience each alone, no matter how many folks surround you...but the memories is what lasts a lifetime...my father said of his beloved granma, "I just pretend she's still on long island and I keep forgetting to go see her"...uh, poppy, its been about forty years...but all jokes aside, that's how you have to deal...you are crying for the physical, when in fact as long as you keep her memory alive she is never gone...

professor said...

sorry for your loss...I have yet to lose someone really close so excuse me if I sound to blase...in the physical life and death are one...you experience each alone, no matter how many folks surround you...but the memories is what lasts a lifetime...my father said of his beloved granma, "I just pretend she's still on long island and I keep forgetting to go see her"...uh, poppy, its been about forty years...but all jokes aside, that's how you have to deal...you are crying for the physical, when in fact as long as you keep her memory alive she is never gone...

professor said...

sorry for your loss...I have yet to lose someone really close so excuse me if I sound to blase...in the physical life and death are one...you experience each alone, no matter how many folks surround you...but the memories is what lasts a lifetime...my father said of his beloved granma, "I just pretend she's still on long island and I keep forgetting to go see her"...uh, poppy, its been about forty years...but all jokes aside, that's how you have to deal...you are crying for the physical, when in fact as long as you keep her memory alive she is never gone...

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

keli - anytime hon

professor - so true

Dusty said...

This has to be the most wonderful tribute I have ever read..Thank you so very much Torrance for sharing it and your fine remembrance's with us.

What a wonderful family. The love, the devotion..amazing indeed.

Don said...

God bless the dead.

Your post made me think about grandmother hard...

DMB said...

You are blessed to have/have had such queens in your family. So many of us are raised by people who are little more than children themselves so we rarely have examples of courage, grace and dignity to emulate in our own lives.

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog, by the way.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

DMB - thanks for the prayrs hon and u are right, i was lucky...and u enjoy Jpan, its like im there whe i read your post

Don - we were blessed, for they made us.


Dusty - thanks folks, i hope she would have liked to have read this

CapCity said...

U r Blessed, Dear Brother All-Mi-T! And they are clearly ALL up in your blood - for U r now a BLESSING to many!

n'Drea said...

T, so sorry to be so late with my condolences. Grandparents are the best. I only have one living - my maternal grandmother. If it will help, remember all the beautiful times you shared with your Nana.

May God continue to strengthen you and the rest of your family.

Peace, brother.

i.can't.complain. said...

much love & respect to Ms. Hazel

u definitely made one heck of an impact on your grandson

a peaceful journey to u...

and as for u, R.D.B

well written, sir.


-1-

trina said...

What a moving tribute to what was surely a wondrous women. And now that the limitations of life on Earth have fallen away from her, and her soul can extend itself in all its glory, I am sure see is smiling at the thought of having two such loving and righteous grandchildren as a legacy!

Blu Jewel said...

What a beautiful tribute. I wish I had a relationship with my gram like you did.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Cap - thank u hon, and see u friday

Trina i.can't.complain, & Blujewel - thanks and i was blessed, indeed I was, they dont make women like her and my other granny or mom any more

N'drea - never too late it is appreciated

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karrie b. said...

damn. i'm REALLY sorry to hear about your loss all-mi-t. feel better babe...ur dad wasn't shit, but you are!!!

Lovebabz said...

Dearesat Torence,

I can not begin to imagine how hard this must have been for you.

Youa re an amazing Man and I know your grandmother was beyond proud.

You have done well by her and for her. Let that be your comfort. Let your memories stand as a testament to true love of family, faith and history.

I hold you adn yours in prayer. You are so beautiful to me.

T.C. said...

first time here-this was absolutely beautiful....if only we (us women) could grow to be half of what our grandmothers and mothers are we'd still be ahead of the game...

may peace comfort you.

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