Y'all, I miss my grandma.
Photo: The Oprah Winfrey Show
I think of her often as I navigate my twenties, remembering all of her wisdom and great teachings. She passed away when I was 21 years old and often, I need her more now than I did as a child. My Grandma Carrie was born in 1913 and lived until 2010 (what a legacy), and just like yours, she endured the toughest times, earning her right as the family matriarch.
Your strong family unit was built on your grandma's back.
Black women have a certain uniqueness and resilience passed on throughout the generations. If you were raised by a black grandmother, she made you into the person you are today. Here are a few definitive characteristics and moments black children know all too well, in past and present tense, if you're lucky enough to still enjoy your granny's amazing quirks.
1. You know better than to think there are cookies inside here.Photo: Royal Dansk
A dream deferred. When you see this container, your mouth waters for the sweetness inside. Once you remove the top, you're bamboozled yet again. No cookies. Sewing kits, band-aids, pencils, etc. Once the cookies are gone, this tin can turns into a multipurpose organizer for granny. You knew better.
2. Her assortment of church hats.Photo: Key & Peele
Black grandmas are the inventors of church hats. Don't let anyone tell you any different. It's her way of flexin' during bread and wine on First Sunday and when other churches visit for revival.
3. Your reaction when you heard, "Go get me a switch."Photo: Family Matters
Tore. That. Ass. Up!
4. But she always granted immunity.
Photo: The Player's Club
Even on the days when you cut up the worst, Nana wouldn't let moms and pops lay a finger on "her baby". Unfortunately, you knew you'd get it when you got home.
5. Your secret handshake.Photo: Soul Food
She whispered in your ear, "Hold out your hand," and you walked away with a dollar bill or more. It's the same feeling as being on Contestant's Row for The Price is Right.
6. In a bad storm, you had to turn off all the lights.
Her only explanation was, "Hush, God is talking."
7. You had to grease her scalp and vice versa.
Photo: How to Get Away with Murder
And you better not miss a section.
8. There is a distinct difference between her food and the rest of the pack.Photo: Soul Food
Your mama's cooking is LIT and auntie throws down too, but they're no match for Grams. You're not sure how she did it, but the food was so delectable that you were certain she slipped some sort of narcotic in the dish.
9. Cartoons and "off the bus" snacks are synonymous.
Photo: Golden Globes
You came home from school famished. She handed out snacks to you, your siblings and your cousins. You stuffed your face aimlessly as you watched Arthur, Power Rangers and Tiny Toons, until Oprah and the news came on. Although you went with her to the store the week prior to pick out your favorite snacks, she still surprised you with a treat.
10. She knew everybody's business within a 30 mile radius.
Photo: In Living Color
She knows everybody's business better than the local news affiliate. But you better stay out of grown folk business.
11. Grandma is a hymnal.Photo: Tumblr
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and "At the Cross" are just a few of her greatest hits. Through the good times and the bad, she sang all the glory to his name.
12. The splitting of gender roles.
Photo: The Color Purple
If you were a boy, you better be cranking up that lawnmower. And for the girls, you best be in the kitchen shucking corn or snapping beans. Wherever you were stationed, boy or girl, you better be working hard, bih.
13. You know this man and what time to expect him.Photo: The Young and The Restless
Matter of fact, you know Erica Kane, Stefano DiMera and the entire soap crew. You can't tear a black grandma away from her "stories."
Black grandmas are your greatest cheerleaders and have a way of making you feel special. Treasure them while they're here. If so, go hug yours for me.
What are your favorite grandma memories? Share them below in the comments!