If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time
If I could turn back the hands of time I would spend much of it talking to my great grandmother. My great grandmother better known as Big Momma even though she was barely a hundred pounds was a feisty little woman. I used to go to Mississippi to visit my relatives there but preferred to stay with my mother’s sister because she had children my age. We would go visit Big Momma often. She was my mother’s grandmother. My mothers’ parents died very young, granny at 52 and granddaddy at 57, three days apart. Big Momma raised my auntie who is now 49. We used to visit Big Momma and she would be chasing my aunt through the house with the broom. “I told you don’t let me catch you with that boy again with your fast tail.” My aunt would try to outrun big momma but she was quick. We would stand there laughing, happy we didn’t have to stay with her since she was so strict. Another thing, my aunt was about 17 and I was probably 11 or so. Big Momma was 90. But she was a young 90. She was 94 when she died.
I wish that instead of dreading to go see Big Momma because she wouldn’t let us do anything, I mean that kindly. She was trying to keep us from the boys and getting pregnant. So if we went outside she did too. Now I wish that I would have used that time to get to know her better.
Big Momma was part Indian and part White. Her parents who were my great great–grandmother was a white woman who married an Indian. My great-great grandmother was worried about having a generation of dark family members so she told Big Momma not to marry too dark. Big Momma looked like a white woman with a long white braid that reached the top of her butt. She would tell us about the family history but I was too young to want that information. It never occurred to me that my great-great grandmother was a white woman because that meant nothing to me.
Big Momma went against her mother and married a dark skin African American man. Thus my mother’s mother and her siblings were born, a variety of skin colors and hair textures. My grandmother (mom’s mother) was medium color but she had my mother who came out looking like Big Momma. That’s because she married a fair skin man who looked like an Indian. My granddaddy was a handsome man who sang in a quartet all through the South. I guess this is why mother had a bunch of singing kids. Funny thing, granddad looked as if he should have been Big Momma’s child instead of my grand mother.
They always said that the Apple Don’t Fall too far from the Tree and I am really beginning to believe that. My mother will give you her last dollar and will do anything to help her fellow man and this I tell you have made me and my siblings very angry because we are so protective of her. But she said something that made me wish I had known Big Momma better. While visiting with her this past weekend she was telling my nieces to please not get pregnant and to wait until marriage, then she said and don’t marry too dark. I was stunned, shocked, mortified. First because mom married a seriously handsome dark man some 34 years ago and secondly mom rarely makes any racial comments or says anything like that. Then it hit me, mother spent many of her growing years with Big Momma cause my granddaddy was traveling and grandmother would sometimes go with them. So we know where that thinking came from. But still, I have never ever heard her say that.
Finally, I went to take a bone density test and the doctor was concerned that my bones were becoming as dense at the same rate as white women which he found strange. I know why. See I am a medium color woman, having no attributes of any race that visible but African Americans. But I got the bones…
I know most African Americans have the same story. But I wish that I could sit down talk to Big Momma and my granny whom I never met and learn more about my family tree. I can see that tree would be mighty interesting.
I did it…blogged 29 out of 30 days….