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In the Ink:
The first 9 lines in "Legacy" state exactly how this poem came to fruition: I'd actually been composing it in my head for years...and regretfully it wasn't until I lost my Grandmother that I actually finished the poem and shared it with her. I'd written the lines and said them over in my head sooo many times. In the car, at work, in the bed, in the shower...while cooking, sitting in class....everywhere! Never once actually putting pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard. Funny how death will shake you, give you a kick in the butt and a different perspective. Make you do things, say things and even treat people in your life differently....but that's another blog posting.

I decided that since I'd been so closed lipped about the poem when my Grandmother was here, I had to finally finish it and share it - So I did. At the funeral.....a brave move but also the most difficult 2 minutes of my entire life. I stood in front of the church, pews packed with family friends and relatives, next to my grandmother's blue casket, and before I finished uttering the first word, emotion overcame me. I could barely speak - knots in my throat choked me; Reading off the page was difficult even - as tears flooded my face. I had to shuffle back and forth for my legs and knees had become so weak that I thought if I tried to stand still, I would surely collapse.

But afterwards, the overwhelming love and response I received made that moment worth all the heartache. Some were brought to tears by the poem, others touched and thankful for the good memories it helped them to recall.

I am happy to say that every time I spoke with my Grandmother I told her I loved her and I often thanked her for everything she did for me. So even though I never shared this poem with her, I have no doubt that she knew exactly how much she meant to me.

I encourage everyone to call a little more often....say I Love You a few more times...Send a handwritten letter...Make time for personal visits...Give all the flowers that you can now.

I share this poem again, in honor of my Grandmother's legacy.


I’ve been writing a poem for you in my head for a while now.
Never wrote it down to share with you because I didn’t know how.
Didn’t really know what you’d think of it…
Always concerned about me being so holy –
So I didn’t know how you’d feel about my poetry…
But it’s how my feelings come out best;
And even though now that you’re at rest,
I’ve got some things to tell you;
And fortunately I didn’t wait to late –
It was just Sunday, April 13th when I brought you that plate
of dinner mama fixed for you
and your eyes lit all up as you said:
“Ooh who’s gonna eat all this food?!”
And I don’t know if you finished all of it,
But I sat there and watched as you tasted
a little of the okra, macaroni and cheese and homemade pie,
I’d felt so compelled to come see you and didn’t quite know why –
But God thank you for pulling at my heart string, telling me to go there.
Grandma, sat on the couch next to you, held your hand, put my head on your shoulder and smelled your hair….

Thanks mama, but Grandma taught me a lot of what I know.
And I constantly thanked her for that…
And oh I’m so glad I did because time doesn’t go back -
Missed opportunities are just that.

But my life is full and rich of memories….
I recall summers of eating ham and cheese FREE lunch, which I hated but now the lesson I get….
brown paper bags piled high with food for passing out to the less fortunate…..
Grandma you gave and gave and gave… was as if your heart had all the room in the world.
I remember sitting in front of your stove and with a hot comb, my hair you’d curl.
I remember the trips to the mall for an ice cream sample, and the visits to Tea Lake for a dip,
And if I ever wore a shirt a little too low-cut you’d trip!
But I knew it was because you cared for me,
And grandma, my queen you’re leaving behind such a legacy –
Always so proud of who your children grew up to be!
And it’s true that they couldn’t have done it without you…
My grandma.

2 cars, brick house, a garden for every season,
Jesus, Mary in the yard, standing tall for a reason
You couldn’t talk to my grandma and walk away without some kind of impression;
Or at least a rosary lesson,
59 beads wrapped around her hand 24-7;
Grandma use to tell me when I prayed to breathe in and out Jesus,
Something she did every day of her life.
Now an angel surrounded by God’s light…..

My Grandma.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful and brilliant ... just like you!
Auntie Bri

CB25 said...

Great Poem CG!!! I so excited for you !!!!! Hope all is well