"As I lay me down to sleep, I hear her speak to me."
When I heard Kanye West's "Only One" on New Year's Day, I couldn't help but to feel that it was perfect timing. I cried on the first listen, knowing this was about his mom and wondered if my mother felt the same sadness when I was born. My grandmother passed away January 1st, 1989. I was born a year and a few months later.
Though I had my paternal grandmother growing up, I didn't have a relationship with her. Not the kind I dreamed of having with a grandparent. There were elders in my life, including my grandmother's sister who I grew to call "Nana" until the day she passed. But nothing truly came close to having the love of my real grandmother.
Stories tell me that she was amazing, strong woman. A lover, a nurturer, and played no games. She was a reverend and a healer. But all I had were stories. None of them of which I can claim to be my own.
I grew up jealous of everyone in my immediate family, especially my first cousins. They got to see first hand how amazing she was. They got to spend time with her. Learn from her. Enjoyed her good food. All I got were pictures and memories that didn't involve me. I wanted to share that experience. I wanted my Nana.
"Are you proud of who I am?"
She came to me once. But I was a child and was scared. I woke up screaming because I thought it was a monster. She hasn't visited me since then.
But I'm older now and less scared of spirit entities when I'm sleeping. Sometimes I wonder if she's watching over me. I wonder if she's protecting and guiding me from the other side. Does she even know who I am?
During tough times, I always wonder what Nana would say to me. Is she proud of who I am? Do I need to do better? What am I doing wrong? What does she think of this mess I made with my life? Is she looking down and saying a prayer for me?
Moments like these I begin to wonder where I would be if she were alive. Would she tell me how much she loves me? Would she cook me my favorite foods? Would she give me much needed wisdom about life?
I miss her yet I never even met her. But I feel her presence around me. I know she knows me. I know she loves me. I wish I knew her. But I love her.
I wonder if she talks to God about me...