What I remember most about my life, 15 years ago, is that I was pregnant with hope, but I was also filled with grief.
April 2002, my great-grandmother passed away. I was beyond devastated. She was everything to me. The reality of not being able to hear her sweet voice or feel her warm hug sent me reeling. I was a complete mess. But out of a mess came a masterpiece.
Two weeks after my great-grandmother went to be with the Lord, I discovered I was pregnant. Anger was my first reaction, followed by shock and disbelief. I was smack in the middle of grief and gratitude. At the first ultrasound, the vibrant heartbeat of my unborn baby rang clear. Each thump renewed my hope and gave me a new outlook on life.
Early in my pregnancy, I dreamt about my great-grandmother. In an earlier blog, I wrote about being bullied. I was bullied about my appearance. My nose was just one of the areas that was the target. I was in middle school and desperately wanted to have plastic surgery on my nose to make it smaller and narrower. My great-grandmother listened to my plea and very calmly told me, No. She then followed up and explained to me that my nose was beautiful, my nose was unique, and my nose a representation of my family – my heritage.
In my dream, I saw my unborn daughter’s face and her nose looked exactly like mine. As I held her up to the mirror so she could see her reflection, my great-grandmother walked up behind me and put her hands on my shoulders. We stood there, gazing in the mirror at our reflection. Five generations, all with the same nose.
December 2002, my daughter was born. I was overjoyed. At the first glance of her newborn face, I immediately noticed that we had the same nose. I cried out of amazement. I cried out of love. I was scared. I couldn’t imagine parenting a child without my great-grandmother being by my side to guide me. But out of the fear came hope.
This time of the year is very emotional for me. I laugh. I cry. I reflect. Through it all I intentionally share stories, recipes, and wisdom from my great-grandmother with my daughter and my son. It’s important for me to be that bridge of hope between them and the generations before. My great-grandmother’s energy flows through each of us, and it’s important for me that my children feel connected.
My daughter will turn 15 on Friday, December 15th. We have a magical weekend planned filled with balloons, pictures and cupcakes. Oh - and a SZA concert!
Cheers to tha culture!