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My Granny...My Heart

I'm not usually at a loss for words. I am today. My mom told me that they think my grandmother is nearing the end of her earthly journey. That hurts.

My grandmother, Mary Melissa Hopkins Scott, is 96 years old. She's outlived her parents, two brothers, four sisters, a husband, a son, and a daughter. She's lived long enough to see Jim Crow come out to play and go back into hiding in the South. She's seen the days when voting rights were non-existent for Blacks, and she voted in every election she could when those rights were given to her. She's experienced more pain, suffering, joy, and laughter than most people will ever know in their lifetimes.

This woman got married at the age of 22 and became a widow at 42. She raised five children, and not one of them has spent time in jail, been strung out on drugs, or been in the news for anything negative. She had a stroke in 1981, and lived alone until 1999. She lived with my mom until the government threatened to cut off her SSI, which would mean she couldn't get her medicine. My uncle cared for her until 2006, when he didn't have the strength to do it anymore. She's been in the nursing home since then.

Granny is amazing. She is one of my best friends and greatest supporters. I love the way she's led our family, not with an iron hand, but a (sometimes) quiet spirit that allowed us to choose our own ways. I'll never forget how scared I was when I decided to change my major to music. I thought she'd say that it wasn't practical. Instead, she told me, "I was wondering when you'd do that." When I got ready to move to New York, she told me that I had to do what I needed to do, and that she was proud of me.

Even though Granny has nine grandchildren -- 12 if you count the stepchildren -- I'm her favorite. My brother has the distinction of being the baby, but I spent more time with her than the rest of them. I was the one who lived with Granny the longest, and she took me everywhere. She's the one who taught me the importance of being informed and voting -- not by beating me over the head with it, but by her example. We read the paper every day and watched the news every night.

When my mom called me with that news, I can't begin to tell you how I felt. On one hand, Granny has lived well past her fourscore and ten years. She's truly seen it all. I remember the last Christmas she was home, I took my laptop with me. She was amazed at how one could watch movies on such a thing. I'll never forget what she said, "That thing is amazing. You don't even have to leave your house because you can get everything you need with that. That's why people don't come together much anymore. I remember when there was only one radio on the block and we'd all go to that person's house to listen. Now, people on the same street don't even know each other."

On the other hand, I don't want her to go. I want her to meet my husband and my children. I'm nowhere near either one of those things; that's why I need for her to suck it up and live. Is that a selfish attitude? Yes. Am I proud of it? No. Would Granny want me to feel that way? Of course not. I'm honest -- another thing she taught me. I know that if I told her that, she'd laugh at me and say, "Girl, you so crazy." And I am, crazy about Granny.

Please join me in praying for my precious Granny. Pray that God's will be done in the situation, and that we -- her family -- will have the strength to endure His decision.


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