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Sybil Victoria Joseph and Don’t forget the ROBERTSON (Part 1)

Today I am remembering my grandmother and seeing her face in my minds eye. I am recalling different looks at different times and stages in her life but especially the weathered look from her latter years.

My memory takes me to a time of teenage curiosity, when I wondered what she was like as a child. Was she curious and talkative like I was? What things did she yearn for, which boy did she secretly adore? What were her insecurities and when did she come into her own? I knew her to be a housewife, a mother of nine, and a grandmother to many, but before that time, what were her hopes, what did she dream of? And if given the chance, what would she have become.

Years later, I inquired about her life. She told me she was quick witted, but that in those days, having come from humble beginnings, the meager resources did not allow her parents to be able to afford a college education, for 11 children. In the case of her family, those resources amounted to the sum total of monies that would allow one child to receive a higher education, and thereafter migrate abroad for continued studies. The lucky child was her elder brother. The expectation being, that the male child, through his success, would assume responsibility for his younger siblings and care for his parents, later on.

My grandmother's personality was illuminate. She was sassy, stern, and no nonsense. She was God fearing, prayerful, and a lover of the PSALMS, and though she always had a solid opinion, she cared enough, to consider the viewpoint of others.

She did not believe in sparing the rod and spoiling the child. Good manners were a must, and children did not get involved with grown folks conversations, nor did they give input. Should you dare to overstep your bounds as a child, you would receive, “the look”. That look, spoke volumes. "The look", meant that you had gone where angels fear to tread. The look meant that if you did not withdraw from that space and place you would regret it.

Grandparents add unimaginable value to the lives they touch. They are vital and important, and are to be treated as such. I dare you to sit with your grandparents, and elders and ask about their experiences. I promise it will evolve into a lesson, the likes of which cannot be taught, by any institution.

Stay tuned for part 2. What was your relationship like, with your grandparent's. Which memories are your fondest?