In the first article you read about the scrafices of my mom to ensure I had food, shelter, clothing, and an education. In the feature article you will get the idea of the bond that I shared with her. In addition to my bond with my mom, my own mother had a bond with my grandmother, her mother. As an infant, my maternal grandfather had a major accident that caused him to be in a body cast. Due to his near fatal injury, my grandmother had to work. She had recently given birth to my mother; during the mid-1940’s daycare was basically non-existent. My mother was taken to live with my grandmother’s brother, my mom’s uncle and my great-uncle. Eventhough my mother was never legally adopted, my great-uncle and great-aunt loved my mother as their own child. This was such the case that referring to them as great-uncle and great-aunt as well as not granddaddy and grannie seems incorrect.
My mother was raised in a loving home and she was cared for well. She wanted for nothing and excelled in school and life under their care. They sent her to attend Tuskegee University, then Tuskegee Institute in 1962 with three large steamer trunks. A trunk that contained clothing, one for linens, and one for shoes. However, instead of going back to college after summer break, my mother visited her biological parents in Chicago. She decided that she was not going to go back to school.
A strong bond formed between my mother and grandmother. There was the understanding that my grandmother had done what she thought was best at the time. Both had the benefit of not having the difficult years of adolescence; they were two adults who became like sisters. During my youth and some of the rocky periods with my dad, my mother and grandmother were not always speaking to each other. However, over time their relationship regained strength.
Hours after my mother’s death, I was the one with my husband given the heart wrenching responsiblity to tell my grandmother her daughter had died. Over and over, she repeated “my only child” as she weeped and asked God “why”. I too cried but tried to stay strong for my grandmother. I had lost a mother but my grandmother had lost a daughter and her best friend.
We all know that with life eventually comes death. However, no mother wants to bury her child. My mother loved and took care of my grandmother for a number of years. She moved her from Chicago to South Carolina to ensure she received adequate care. Only just a few months ago my grandmother was admitted to a nursing facility because my mother had reached the point where her own health was declining. My mother may have had an idea but me nor my grandmother knew of the severity of my mother’s declined health.
Now, I have been given the responsibility to ensure that my grandmother receives adequate care. I will not have the opportunity to care for my own mother into her elder years. In addition, I often wonder about myself and future care, since, I do not have children. So it seems that the split of my family tree may end with me. I don’t worry about what the future holds, I am just grateful for coming from a strong-line of women.