Before I could obey or listen to your grandfather-I had to answer to the law of my father's house exercised by my mother. I had to do a lot of what I had to. When I asked the Lord to examine my heart to see my intentions-if he found anything amiss, He would chastise me before my mother spoke a word. But if I had already gone ahead without listening to Him, then my mother would speak and my father would act. To be a daughter; I brought joy, lessons, tears, conditional hate and unconditional love to my family. I was a carrier of my parents' legacy into my own home and life.
To be called a woman, I had to realise above everything that I was beautiful and... Beautiful and respectful, beautiful and intelligent, beautiful and humble, beautiful and peacable, beautiful with a purpose, beautiful and belonging to a Being higher than my own.
To be called a wife: I had to heed his call. I had to accept the love and the awe he felt toward me. But I had to refuse the pedestal he offered and settle for the dust he walked on. I had to give him back everything he gave me all the days of his life and every single of mine. I had to repackage the love he gave me with respect. I had to repackage the orders he gave with loving instructions. I had to repackage his anger with concern. I had to repackage his somewhat wondering eye with more of my wiles. I had to repackage his sullenness with mystery. I had to repackage his drive with support; his plans with my action; his lack with my encouragement; his fear with my solace; his angst with my calm; his ego with my humility; his strength with my grace; his quietness with my thoughts and of course his thoughts always remained his. I lost myself in him, with him and by him...because I had given myself to him.
To be called a mother: I let every single one of my babies suckle life from me for as long as they needed. I let them learn with their hands; listen with their feet; act with their minds and love with all that is within them off course. I wonder if they took it too literally though. I taught them to teach and lead. I would not allow them to be followers. My children were the precedence-the pioneers. I would never let them fight with their hands but with their dreams. I taught them from God's book. I sang to them from God's hymns. I loved their friends, cousins and neighbours so they would be close to me always. There is no place where they went that I never knew of, even if they thought they were far off. I enriched the community so much that I was not afraid if the community were to raise them because I had raised it.
To be called a grandmother: I let my children marry or be married and go forth and procreate. I opened my home to all my children's children. I kept the law and showed it to them. I made the meals they loved; the prayers they needed; the solace they sought and the authority they craved. I let their mothers be strong and impart their lessons. I learned from them too. I kept my tradition, my consistency, my strength.
To be called a great grandmother: By this time I had lost my sight but not my vision nor His vision. I heard my great grandchildren call me.I felt each of their soft hands caress mine. I felt them stare and wonder about who I was and what I meant. I stuck around. I let them bury me in their archives alongside the pyramids. I let them hear stories about me.
To be a daughter, woman, wife, grandmother, great grandmother is something I can hopefully pass on to you. To excel in these things is not by knowing it all nor doing it all-it is by just being. Everything you are or intended to be is on the palms of your hands. When you came into this world-your little hands were balled into fists. You were carrying the manuscript and all the gifts that God knew you would need to Be.