I learned that sometimes the best friend a child can have is her Grandmama…
For when all elase fails, ask her!
I learned that when you love someone, you make sacrifices
Lots of them, as many as you need to, for as long as you are able.
I learned that there is always a way to do something, if you “put your mind to it.”
I learned all the important things from her:
How to mix colors on a canvas, write a poem that will make people cry, cook collards, bathe a baby, load a washing machine, frost a cake, catch a crab with a chicken neck and some string and sit up straight!
I learned that a real lady is gracious and kind and speaks softly, never loudly
And makes sure she is dressed for the occasion.
I learned how to be polite and tolerant when people are rude and obnoxious
To people I dislike, or don’t approve of
And especailly to people I really do love, when they’re getting on my nerves.
I learned that charity begins in your own home
Then extends to your extended family
And that I have a responsibilty to others,
To my parents, and my ancestors, and my country.
I learned that alot of things are “too messy to fool with”
That it’s OK to get mad, but then you have to “let it go.”
That sometimes you have to lie awhile in a bed you’ve made
And some things in life are just pure wrong.
I learned that the best way to show love is by actions, not words.
That sometimes you have to stop and take a rest
But that it’s never too late to get started.
I learned that grownups can be alot of fun,
That childrens’ dreams really do matter
And that no matter how old you get, “You’re as young as you feel.”
I learned how to stop and let the ocean speak to me
And I never look at it without thinking of her.
I learned that you always, always, always defend the ones you love,
Refuse to listen to anyone criticize them,
And rush to help them when no one else does.
I learned that God answers prayers,
But not always right away.
And help often comes from the most unlikely places.
I’ve learned to never judge a book by it’s cover
That ordinary people can hide the greatest souls
And that poor people are sometimes the most generous, and the richest.
I learned that if you really feel like you should do something
Then you do it.
If you feel the need to say something
Then you say it.
But if it’s something “ugly” then you should probably bite your tongue.
I learned that you don’t say things like “pee” in front of the Preacher,
Or otherwise make a spectacle of yourself in public
And sometimes you just have to laugh.
I learned that it’s not necessary to tell everything
And to never be afraid to try something new.
To look at the clouds and try to imagine what kind of brush I’d use to paint them.
And always carry a light jacket if it looks like rain.
I learned that everything worth doing takes work
That some things are just out of our hands
And when something is finished, leave it be.
I learned that The Rock of Gilbralter
is sometimes disguised as a short, round, grey headed woman,
That talking things over with her
Could put anything into perpective
That no matter where I go, or what I do, or who I become
She will always believe in me and always love me.
I learned from her that family is the most important thing,
That children are to be cherished and protected,
And to be proud of the hard work of all my parents and grandparents.
She taught me that solitude can be a good thing
And no matter how alone I am,
I am never completely alone.
She taught me all about unconditional love
And, in doing so, the Love of God.
My greatest regret is not having a daughter to name after her.
My greatest hope is that someday
I will be as beautiful as she is.
And my greatest wish is for her to know
how significant she has been in my life
And how much a part of me she has become.