The woman on the far right is my Grandma, Vivian. I wish I had better pictures to share, but this is what I have on hand.
She was truly a regal woman. In her later years, she still stood about 5’9″ and carried herself with the poise and grace of a queen. Her hair and makeup were always done and outfits were meticulously coordinated from head to toe.
Certainly the inside was just as beautiful as the outside. Grandma lived her entire life in her homeland of Ghana, but moved to the US to care for my siblings and me after my parents divorced. My mom worked a lot, so Grandma did the more of the domestic, motherly things with us. She taught me how to braid and hand stitch, two very valuable skills that I use today. Her cooking skills were unmatched and we all looked forward to Friday nights when she fried fish or turkey tails for dinner. While she had a very no-nonsense personality, she loved deeply and did everything for us.
She instilled the value of education in her children and therefore, her grandchildren. Report card pickup was always a bit nerve-wracking in our house, but she encouraged me when I struggled and congratulated me when I did well.
Grandma moved back to Ghana in 2006. Her grandkids in the US were all grown up and her work here was done. I’d guess that she also missed our huge extended family and her own house. Grandma made sure to call and tell us how much she loved us whenever she could.
She passed in 2009. While she wasn’t in the best health, none of us were expecting her to go when she did. What made it particularly difficult was that she passed away halfway across the world and I couldn’t go to her funeral. The timing didn’t allow it. It hit my family hard and holidays still aren’t quite the same without her.
Still, I am incredibly grateful to have had her in my life as long as I did. Some children hardly see their grandparents. I had the honor to be raised by my grandmother.
I miss her every day. Sometimes I see her in my dreams.
Love you, Grandma. ❤