Mothers and Grandmothers and Aunts and Sisters

Mothers and grandmothers and aunts and sisters  smile at you like sunshine that binds your bones with your soul.  You feel their love and you know you can do no wrong; you can own the world with the power of love from these great women.  They may leave you, but their spirits, the core of your being, is forever woven into your DNA.

I can see my grandmother and great grandmother’s smiles in my mother’s smile.  My mother can look at me and my tired soul becomes peaceful and renewed.  Black mothers, grandmothers, and aunts – matriarchs, “holdin’ it down,” in our community, breathe courage, morals and values into our spirits so our brothers, sisters, our children live another 100 years.

The yellow cakes my paternal grandmother made still hold a sweetness I can taste to this day.  And the special pickled eggs my maternal grandmother made still swim through my blood and nourish my spirit.   Yet all of their love is reflected in every tender morsel my mother has ever fried, baked, or boiled.  Her food, everything she makes, is the best tasting thing she has ever made to me.

Then there are the aunts who hold a sparkle in their eyes that reflects the amazement we all have that love, the love of family, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandfathers, grandmothers  – is eternal, and sustains you with a new burst of soulfulness with every cookout, phone call, or family reunion.

Sisters are the teammates you can trust to have your back, the ones you want to be in the foxhole with when the enemy is closing in and you know you have a chance to win the fight.  Sisters are an extension of you, they have been where you’ve been, their pain is your pain because you’re both woven from the same steel fabric that will hold the family together on into the future.

The love of family is what fertilizes our emotional and spiritual growth.

But even those that may not have been as fortunate to have been surrounded with family love should be able to feel it through whomever was there for them.  Whoever propped you up and helped you from a toddler to a child to a teenager to a young adult is your family.

And although none of our families have always said or done all the right thing, all the time, what we do receive from them, their love, played a role in our journey.  And oftentimes we simply don’t realize how blessed we all have been.

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