Cry became ME (R.I.P. Wilhelmina Edwards)

I had it. The moment we all are NOT waiting for. The long walk home to an empty house feeling. The “pucker up to kiss sour candy unavoidable face scrunching” moment. The stuffy nose overwhelming sigh of reality moment. Revelation rearing, memory bearing minute. CRY BECAME ME!

Revelation: I miss my grandmother. Her birthday is Dec. 15th. (two days away). 

I thought I was cool until I went to lunch with a friend. The hostess and I got into a conversation, he asked me where I was from. I replied “I’m from North Carolina”  He says he’s from NC too! He mentioned had a lot of family in Raleigh and I asked what his last name was. He gave me the last name and I had to catch myself because I was about to say “I’m gonna ask my grandma if she knows any people with that last name.” I paused, he looked puzzled as if to ask “what were you going to say?” I shook my head to snap out of it and replied with one of the most common replies used right now….”oh, that’s wassup, ok then.”

I brushed the moment off not knowing that it would creep up on me again. Last night I was in a conversation about my passion to just be who I am and it happened! CRY BECAME ME! I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. All I could think about was how proud of me my grandma was when I published my novel. She made everyone she knew (a lot of mofos) buy my book. All she had to do was say “ay, look give me $15 for this book, my granddaughter wrote this book” and they did it. She also helped me get my book into the “Know Bookstore” which was a staple in Durham, NC. She told me to take the book ’round the corner to the owner and tell him I am Wilhelmina’s granddaughter. I was like “grandma, it doesn’t work like that.” She looked at me like “girl, go ’round that corner lika toldchu.” So I did and guess what….HE PUT MY BOOK ON THE SHELF without hesitation.

My grandmother was a free spirit. A happy woman. She was so proud of me. I wished I had the chance to tell her that I was dating women. Unlike my judgmental aunt and her judgmental Christian family she would have accepted me for exactly who I am no matter what. Some days I still need her to do that to help me deal with the rudeness from my aunt. I need her to say “chile don’t worry bout that, you gotta do what you gotta do for you. You know how she is.” I need her to just be there when I get home for Christmas. I just want to go to her house. I just want to laugh and talk to her. I just want to sneak miniature alcohol bottles from her cabinet and she give me that “uh, huh, whatchu been drinking….go get me one” look.

As the tears stream down my face at this very moment I realize I would not be the Shelly I am if it wasn’t for her daughter Stephanie (my mother). A woman of courage and my greatest inspiration. The woman who believes in me no matter what because her mother believed in her and believed in me. I miss you so much grandma. You are truly an asset to the next life you’re spirit has entered. All that come into contact with your spirit whether human or angel will truly be blessed as I have been. A special s/o to God for the opportunity to have a special grandmother like you.

R.I.P. Wilhelmina Edwards

Pura Vida,

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