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We Spoke of Honor, and Now Respect

I just got off the phone with my grandma. She says she's been going downhill since mom died, so please hold her in your prayers. She may have suffered a small stroke, and she's having trouble remembering things. (She's 87 years old, but it got worse real fast.)

Recent things, anyway. She's still got the great stories.

"We all went and voted yesterday," Grandma tells me. "Did you?"

"Yep, I went and did early voting last week. There are a lot more people excited about the election this time, and that's great! Just think, either way you vote, you're doing something historic."

"Well I don't know about you," Grandma said in a strong I'm gonna talk politics, but not argue about it voice, "but I voted for Obama. I've loved him since the minute I heard his first speech. He's smart, and he seems genuine, you know. I've never voted Republican once in my life, but I really do like Obama."

"Good for you, Grandma! Me too. But around here, a lot of the older folks are, well, kind of redneck. You hear comments like 'We're democrat, but we don't want a black man in the White House.' We just shouldn't be hearing those kind of things anymore! Don't they care about the good of the country?"

"Well Manda," and her voice was shaky, but there was so much strength in, "I've never thought it mattered. I'll tell you...when I was working building the airplanes, back for the War you know, I had to take the bus to work. And you know how they did buses back then. There was this little old lady, and she had'ta have been seventy, but she was sitting, well, back with the darkies like it was, and I guess some of em had left at their stops. The front was all filled with white people, so I went and took an empty seat. And that bus, well they all just looked at me. And the old lady said, 'Here, I'll switch back there so you can come up here.' I just said, 'No, it's no harder for me to sit back here. Less than it would be for you to have to get up and move.' Cause I was only sixteen or seventeen, you know? She was so old...but all the white people, well they just looked at me like the wanted to run right through me. Run right through me. And her a little old lady. Such things shouldn't matter."

I'm so, so honored to carry on the stories of my heritage. I hope our country keeps on changing for the better, and that our children will be amazed by stories of that one time it was such a big deal to have a black president.

If you haven't, please go vote.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
yo gramma rocks.
Nov. 4th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I have always thought so.
Nov. 4th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
"Such things shouldn't matter"

nope. rock on, grandma!
Nov. 4th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
My grandma is awesomely amazing.

It runs in the family. ;)
Nov. 4th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Nov. 4th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Hope that's 'super cool wow'. LOL It was kind of funny to hear such an empowering message, and yet she called them 'darkies', too. I thought such a brief conversation really showed the culture she grew up in, and how much we've grown since then.
Nov. 4th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my grandmother thinks Blacks lower the market value in her neighborhood, but she's all for civil rights...
Nov. 4th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
Grandmas' stories are the best of all! I'll be thinkin' about your grandmother and hoping for the best. P.
Nov. 5th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
I love Elder stories. Grandma wrote her life story for me once years ago when I kept pestering her with questions. I was looking for it today after we spoke. It's been a while since I read it, but she had good ones there too.

And thank you so much for your thoughts and good vibes!
Nov. 4th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
I voted absentee in Virginia, it was very important to me to make sure I was still registered in Virginia and would be able to vote in my home state. I sent in my ballot a week and a half ago, or so.

I think that what is occurring with your grandmother is pretty common. Definitely sad, but common. After my father's mother died, my papa just seemed not to want to live anymore. He tried, for our sake, and the sake of my Aunt and her kids, but he just relied so much on my grandmother. And he missed his kitty, sandy. We tried to make him get a new cat, because we thought it would give him a reason to live, but he wouldn't. I always suspected that he didn't because he felt that if he did, he would get attached, and have a responsibility to something, and that would force him to hang on longer than he wanted to. He died three years after she did.

I'm always a little envious when people who are my age, or older, still have grandparents. I was fifteen when my last grandparent died, a little more than 8 years ago now. She would be 88 now. Though I really don't want to begrudge anyone that relationship. Sigh.
Nov. 5th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about your father and your grandmother. I kind of understand. I lost both my grandfathers within about a year, when I was 7 or 8, and that was really hard. We lived down here by then though, and we rarely got to see our grandmas anymore.

Grandma said she's a lot better, because at least she can talk about mom a little now. It was so sad. She said, "I've lost both my parents, all my brothers and sisters...my husband! But nothing was even close to losing a child. And Christy was so good." She was the youngest girl. I'm kind of afraid Grandma might feel the same as your papa did. She gave me the old, "I hope you guys come see me soon one more time." :(
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 5th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
I was pretty impressed, too. I never heard any stories like that before.

That IS a lot like gay marriage. I think it's a shame. The government has no business telling people who's love is valid. I've always considered myself bi-racial, even though people just look at me and see a pale white girl. My dad is full blooded Mexican. Mexican people can tell. Rednecks can't, and I've heard plenty of racist bullshit that I've had to put a stop to. It's ridiculous. They'll be all, "Learn English or get the hell back to Mexico, ya dirty spic" when the person they're smack-talking is an English speaking American citizen. *sighs*

*Anyway, hugs from the whitest spic around*
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 5th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
I love your Grandma just a little bit.
Nov. 5th, 2008 11:38 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks! That's the greatest thing about my grandma - she loves you too. :D
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


Ahavah Ehyeh

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