Photo Credit: Joan Cassis, Untitled (Elderly American Woman with Braid, Mary), 1986
This beautiful portrait reminds me of my maternal grandmother, Gennie. I’ve posted it before on The Hazel Gennie. My grandmother was a woman of strong faith who saw many things in her beautiful life. For the last few days, she has been on my mind. Mostly coming to the forefront to check me on my temper, reminding me that she taught me better than the actions I exhibited (or wanted to exhibit). I am so grateful for her and the many memories that I have.
You know, it’s not always easy being a black woman in the world that we live in. In the last two weeks, I’ve had the “twice as hard for half the recognition” conversation at least five times; and that’s considering the few times that I’ve bit my tongue. I try not to complain because I am fortunate and blessed. It’s quite simple. My grandmother worked tirelessly and prayed hard for me to be where I am and I am so grateful. I have much more to accomplish in this life to continue to make her proud. That list could go one for weeks.
Many gospel songs fit this moment of reflection. But rather than choose just one, I’ll close with a prayer instead. As a child, I visited my grandmother often. Each night, she would kneel by her bedside to pray. I would join her and say my scripted prayer, wondering why she was so quiet and calm. I’d carefully recite “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.” I’d give her a goodnight kiss and then head off to the guest bedroom.
As a woman, I am beginning to comprehend what true prayer and petition means. Those are often the moments where I can’t piece together words. I am left to sit in silence, hoping to hear a Word from God. Now I see why Grandma Gennie was so calm. She didn’t have to speak because she was listening with her heart. One day, I hope to reach that caliber as a woman.
God bless you all! Good night!