A while back I had this idea of me interviewing my grandmothers about their past. Having them tell me their childhood, teenage and adult years and hoped they will spill some beans on some family gossip from past generations.
I am blessed to have to bother grandmothers alive; I am most blessed to have the one grandmother that I call Nene.
I wrote a post about her before when I had a visit and she just spoke to me with no filter as most women her age do.
I am not a fan of the Culture I was born into, but it’s still a part of me and as a woman who is determined not to let the next generation repeat faulty beliefs, I must embrace the past. In simple terms breaking generational curses because let me tell you, it’s a shit load of unhealed and distorted thinking that went on in the past.
Before I forget my grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. She had to remove one of her breasts as cancer came back a second time in 2012. She is still very vibrant and sassy.
SHORT ANSWERS ARE FULL OF WISDOM.
I had to go into this interview with an open mind and remind myself, that not because she says something doesn’t mean it’s the way to live or the way to be. Yes, I am her very rebellious 38-year-old granddaughter.
I made a list of questions that I pooled together from myself and my sisters that we wanted to know about our Granny.
We wanted to know things like
When did you have your first date?
What career path did you want to have?
What was motherhood like for you?
Do you have any regrets in life?
What advice do you have for women concerning health?
What did having cancer teach you?
I must have had about two notebook pages of questions written up.
I will go back to get more details as she gave me very short answers but was packed with wisdom.
GRANNY’S UNTOLD STORY
Granny got married at 17 to a man a bit older (approx. 8 years). 3 months after getting married she found out he had a whole other family before her. The only difference is that my granny and grandpa were legally married, and the other woman was just …I have no idea what to call her. (side note: I have never met my grandad)
After three months of discovering her husband’s betrayal, she wanted to go back to her mother’s house. Granny was denied back into her mother’s house, she was told it would be embarrassing to have her back in the house after she got married, she got turned away and sent back to her husband’s house.
Listening to this story of betrayal and embarrassment, I really had to keep my mouth shut and ears open to receive without JUDGMENT.
I learned that she had a great love, and it was to neither of the men she was married to. (Juicy, but she spared me no tea on this man…dam it!!!)
One thing she kept saying was “throughout life, I prayed a lot”, “I have no regrets”.
When I asked about anything she ever regretted in different ways her answer was a simple “no”. Short and impactful.
I say impactful because at the age of 38 I still wonder about my “what ifs” and “should-haves”.
This led to me think granny learned along the way like many great teachers of our times have been telling us for so long, regret nothing, move on from circumstances, learn from failures just as much you learn from your triumphs.
Granny said they were not poor, but they were not rich either.
She had to leave school with a grade 5 education to help her mother with the kids as her father had died when she was 12.
Her health advice was “eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies”.
The ideal man she wanted to marry was a white man who lived overseas. She explained that in school that was a schoolgirls’ fantasy. I will assume this would have been a tactic back then to get out of the island and live a much grander life.
WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
I left my granny’s house thinking about what my story is. What do I need or want my grandkids to know, will I be as blessed to tell my story just as she did with me.
I wonder a lot about death and how I will be remembered, I wonder if I made enough impact on this world, if I was kind enough, if I was bitch enough, if I was strong enough.
What do you think your story is going to be ?.
I don’t think it’s easier to be a woman 70 years later.
Granny’s upbringing was very much different than mines and I thank God at times I was not born in her times, then sometimes I wish I have.
I am not sure I can safely say women have it easier now, that life for us is simple. Sometimes I wonder why we as women must work so hard, have to mother so hard, must boss so hard. I don’t think it’s because we are meant to always do hard things, because sure we can but do we always have to?.
We and everyone else have put too many expectations on us women and let’s not forget about the grand feminist movement. (Sometimes I wonder did the movement help us or hurt us)
Sometimes I want to say, I don’t feel like working and I wouldn’t mind if a man took care of me while I gather my thoughts. But God forbid I need rest or want to be spoiled by a man, God forbid if I want to be a stay-at-home mom and not be a hustle and grind chick. It’s hard, not easy for any of us no matter what path we have chosen.
We could be married, single, home with the kids, divorced, widowed and we as women still struggle like granny did to have our feelings heard, are existence be seen in the world as important, are souls finding their true purpose, are freedom to just be whomever we want to be.
DON’T DIE WITH YOUR MUSIC INSIDE OF YOU
Granny says she has no major regrets in life, besides a few things she wanted to pursue for herself. That got me thinking so much more than I have already about the next year 2022, about me leaving my stable low paying job, about me starting out on my own, finding my own way in life……..
I don’t fear death at all, but I do fear dying with my music still inside of me.