Grief…man I have a lot of that.
My childhood was spent on Shenandoah Avenue in Rockford, Illinois. It was my Granny’s house. I was my granny’s first grandson and in a lot of people’s eyes I was her youngest child.
The nights I was mad or cried I would stay at this house. She would always make sure I had a box of cereal with sugar, more than likely it was Frosted Flakes.
My granny took me everywhere with her, especially church. We would drive from Rockford to Freeport every Sunday. I mean my faith, love, fear of God, manners, and etiquette was instilled in me in this house.
Music. My love for music started here. I loved playing my instrument (trombone) so much because she taught me how to play the piano at an early age.
Walking around the house I can picture myself going through all of the memories.
You know this is also the house where they told me that my father had been murdered.
My dad died in 1990, but losing my Granny a year ago…hurt! She stepped in after my dad was killed. Maybe she knew I needed that extra love and guidance as a man…a black man.
She was the one person that I wanted to see me get my life together.
I remember when she was in the hospital I asked her if she was disappointed in me. She said, “No, why are you always asking me that? No, I’m not disappointed in you.”
I was at peace with letting her go that day.
I remember she told me a while ago that she believed I had grown to a level where I didn’t need her or my mom anymore. She was never the type to brag or boast about how she was proud of me, because she didn’t want me to settle. She wanted me to keep going, and strive for better. Even in her absence, I want to continue to make her proud.