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Grandma's Hands....

Grandma's Hands

What comes to mind when you think about your grandmother? Grandma’s Love... Hugs… Kisses... Lap… Cookies... and Pies.

Grandma’s house is the best.

Grandma believes in me.

“Grandma gets me.”

Grandma’s Love is unconditional.

Grandma is LOVE.

What do you call your grandmother? Mee-ma… Nana… Gigi… Big mama… Te-Te… Lu-Lu… Me-Maw… Geema… Gram… Abuela… Me-Me…

If you’re anything like me, whatever you call her provokes a smile. It’s nice knowing that we-the grandchildren can put it there.

I once read “A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.” ~ Unknown.

Summers in “Little Washington,” North Carolina were the best. I have fond memories of my grandmother: washing my hair, hanging clothes on the line, picking apples and making homemade pies, cooking for the family, working long hours at the Rendezvous Restaurant-coming home tired and still having time to read the Bible and pray for everyone in the family by name.

Grandma was “a grandmother” to all the children in the neighborhood-the spitting image of her sister, my Grand-Aunt in New York. Grandma taught me life lessons: Some with the assistance of a switch with a few leaves at the tip, others sitting on her lap or by her side listening to wisdom.

I lost that best friend way too soon. I dab a tear of joy from the corner of my eye as I share about Grandma. She was the encourager, a giver, a healer, a sharer, an educator, and a woman of wisdom gone way before her time.

MY REGRET: I wish I had more time to spend with her and really tap into that “deep seeded wisdom” grandmothers are blessed with.

THE LESSON: If your grandmother is still alive, plan your next visit now to spend time with her. Start with a phone call, a text, a letter, facetime, or Skype, then tell her how much you love her (Grandma’s love that!).

If you have the privilege of meeting up with her in person, take a pen and pad, sit down beside her and pick her brain… What should say when___________? How did you endure _______________? How did _____________ make you a stronger person?

If she’s no longer with you, make it your business, to carry on her beautiful legacy.

I’ve been privileged-blessed to have several grandmothers in my life. Most, I’ve appreciated and admired. My thought process, goals, ambitions, attitudes, and experiences were molded and shaped by these Phenomenal women.

“If you find a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” ~ Toni Morrison

(I'm writing my first novel, “now"”)

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” ~ Maya Angelou.

(I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings... My love of poetry)

*My secretly adopted grandmothers along with others

Like Maya, my grandmother kept me on the straight and narrow. Yet somehow, it never upset me. Why is that? I always wondered. It wasn’t until I got older that I figured it out-one word, Love.

What is the stamina that keeps them going? The grandmothers I knew weren’t lazy. They were always on a mission. I don’t think they even knew the meaning of the word CAN’T.

Grandma’s Hands ~Bill Withers

Bill put to music what most people really feel about their grandmother. That song has special meaning for all grandmothers. It reminds me of two hardworking people: My grandmother and my manager.

Withers unites hearts and emotions with this song… The guitar strings begin…Bill hums “Hmm Hmm…Hmm Hmm… Gran-ma’s hands” immediately pulls at your heartstrings.

The next time you look at your Grandmother’s hands think of the letter - A

Appreciate her touch.

Ask her what each line, vein, and scar(s) on her hands represent?

Always give her your undivided attention whenever she speaks to you (you’ll thank me for this one later).

REAL TALK: I mentioned my love for old skool wisdom and Grandma stems from years ago. Here’s an interesting way that unfolded in my life: When I interviewed for my present job, I was nervous, intellectually curious, and apprehensive all at the same time. The recruiter at the Temp Agency thought I’d be a great fit for “Counsel’s Office.” The idea of working for the most brilliant, knowledgeable, and hardworking attorneys (and staff) in North Carolina thrilled me.

Sitting across the conference room table from my interviewers, I tried to look confident-hoping my eagerness and nervous grin didn’t show through. I remember trying to get a read on my interviewers and thinking, Maybe I’m not a good fit…Maybe they want someone with more education… Maybe my experience and Post Graduate degree in Common Sense isn’t enough. I wasn’t even sure if they like me or not.

Here’s where it got interesting. The Office Manager crossed her hands on the conference room table. Like a trigger word that inspires someone to act, I knew immediately what I wanted and needed to do and did it!

Unbeknownst to her, seeing her hands-My Grandma’s hands set off something in my spirit that made me react. I was charged. When she asked the next question, a huge smile appeared across my face. I told her exactly what she needed to hear in order to hire me.

See, I knew right then and there, I wanted and needed to work for those hands. I knew for a fact that those hands weren’t a stranger to hard work, and I wanted to be a part of the team that I knew she cared for and commanded… I wanted to assist those hands…learn from those hands…and draw wisdom from those hands…It’s been six and a half years and true to what I knew back then, I’ve had the privilege of seeing this grandmother touch the lives of others-from the grandchildren she raised, to lovingly caring for the needs of everyone in our office. I’m fortunate to have a great relationship with those hands.

Here’s the thing, I’d like to think I convinced her how much she needed me to work for her. But if you’ve been paying attention to what I said, then you know, like most grandmothers and those hands, she was already three steps ahead of the game.

When I become a grandmother (spoiler alert-next year), I’d like to be called, “Nana.” My hope is to take the invaluable lessons from the grandmothers who shaped my life and instill them in my grandchild/grandchildren.

Grandmothers, gotta love em.’

What do you call your grandmother? And what’s the one thing you appreciated about her?

Please feel free to share…

Sending love to all the grandmother out there who left footprints on our hearts…

~Ms. Zipporah

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