In Memory Of Grandma Edith Hazel
In Memory of Grandma, Edith Hazel
My grandma is the only mother I know and all that is good in me I attribute to her; I recalled her boasting of getting married at 22, bearing her husband ten children; and when he died in 56… never seeing another man. You could say that in my early childhood that grandma was eligible to celebrate both mother’s and father’s day. Grandma would tell me not to complain about schooling because she learned to read via a slate… telling me how her teachers would erase the lessons from the previous session and she having to memorize the past lessons - for all those who have the convenience of Wikipedia as a source to write your papers... take note.
The truth is I used to wish that I was born into another family because they had indoor pluming, and moreover, because they seemed to always have food on the table. Back then, I resented grandma for commanding me to go to church so often and making me read everything. I remembered her penmanship… authoring letters under the lights of the portable lamp by way of her trusty Fountain Pen and forever admonishing me about the import of getting an education. I also resented grandma for my learning to swim at such a late age (14) because of her being too overly protective… but props to Stedroy Francis, my Sunday school bud, who taught me to swim.
I remembered waking up at 4:30 am, riding on the tractor to get to the sugarcane fields; grandma’s job then was to bundle the stalk from the harvested sugar cane; then we would get a ride back to the village in time for me to start grammar school. On the weekends, we would purchase the dry peanuts from the plantation, gather dry sea sand, heat the sand in a big pot on a fire comprised of three stones, pour the salt into the sand, along with the peanuts… stirring and testing the nuts until they were brown… then going out and selling them at the Cricket or football games, depending on what season it was.
I remembered grandma teaching me the meaning of the saying, ‘once a man and twice a child’; telling me to be courteous to everyone, addressing she as ‘ma’am’ and he as ‘sir’ or instilling in me that no man, no matter his wealth, was Jesus Christ. Ad nauseum, grandma also taught me to give deference to Israel, as it is succinctly spelled out in Genesis 12: 3. I sincerely want to thank grandma foremost for teaching me about the Lord, Jesus Christ, and forcing me to read everything, except comic books, which I sneaked and read anyway. Grandma lived to be 92… her faculties intact when Jesus called her home. I look at my young daughter and see grandma in her – I can only hope.