Great grandma. Oh yes, a great grandmother she was; and mother and aunt and friend, but she was my GREAT grandma. We called her Gran. *insert Haitian accent*
As I sit in my bed knowing my only class tomorrow is cancelled. My mind wanders off to this amazing woman and as I recall my memories with her it brings tears to my eyes. The first set of tears since her funeral. Now it’s not so much the pain of losing her, but the greater pain of not embracing every moment I could have had with her. I’m the oldest of her great grandchildren and she even lived with me and my family for a few years after my birth. I was able to have her the most, and it helped that she was one of the few people in this world to understand me. Ironic indeed because we never fluently spoke the same language. I taught her English and she taught me Haitian Creole. I remember one time being so proud of her because she had counted to ten in English. I was so young and such a good ESL teacher.
I got into so much trouble as a child, and I couldn’t even tell you why. The many beatings she could have given me or had my parents give me, and yet I remember clear as day doing something bad one day and worrying all day that she would tell my parents. When they got home it was as if nothing had happened and there I had been stressing. The anxiety had been punishment enough. She was so patient with me giving me a different kind of love that was on a whole new level. She moved back with my grandparents and eventually back to Haiti, but every time I did see her she was a breath of life despite her declining health. She was a soldier, never wanting us to see her at her weakest. As I think back to the last few times I saw her, it breaks my heart. Young and foolish the least I could have done was just sit with her even if she could barely see me or speak to me, but yet I was always running off to be with everyone else watching TV wasting time on things I still have a lifetime to do …
My Gran is the closest family I’ve lost in my 20 years, but what hurts the most; The thing I will never understand is how of the 365 days in a year, how she ended up dying on the day of my 20th birthday … I don’t believe in coincidences when I can believe in God, but what exactly does it mean? My pastor always says give the living flowers, they mean nothing when they’re dead. If I knew then what I know now …. I would have sat, listened, and learned. Sat by her side, listened to her story, and learned. I don’t want to have regrets because it’s too late now, but I don’t want to ever let her down again. 1 out of 365 odds are I won’t see this great woman soon, since I have a great legacy to uphold, but odds are I will strive to live the example she modeled for exactly 20 years of my life. Appreciate all whom you love while you still have them. Be sure to Sit, Listen, and Learn, because time is the most precious gift you can give; trust me, you don’t have that much of it. When they leave make them proud by representing their life legacies through your own life. — I love you Gran Alcine. See you in heaven, but ’til then I’ll make you proud. <3
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