When I look back over my 33 years of life, I can't help but realize how blessed I truly am to have my grandparents in my life. Although I lost my paternal grandmother in 1993 soon after I turned 6 years old, my maternal grandmother has been by my side since birth.
My grandmother or Grandmere' as she prefers to be called has been a lady after my own heart since I can remember. I have had the chance to watch her as she has loved, lost, taught, laughed, and continued to persevere in her years of life. I can honestly say I have learned so much about who I am and who I should be from things she never knew she taught me.
If you have the opportunity to experience a grandparent, don't take it for granted. Have those conversations, ask those questions, and watch them because you'll be surprised and pleased at the lessons you learn. Although narrowing down all of the many things I have learned was hard, I came up with the five main things that my Grandmere' has taught me, that has helped to mold me into the man I am today.
No matter what adversity has faced her throughout her life, she never let it get her down for long. She has continued to rely on her faith for strength while being an example to the family of what a strong Black woman is. Through this, her light continued to shine through making her the woman she is today.
I will be honest, patience is something I continue to work on and I must say I'm getting better at it. My Grandmere however has had time and experience on her side to know that things may not come when you expect them to, things may not happen when you want them to, but if you hold on to your faith, eventually everything you need and most of the things you want will happen in due time.
When you're in Cleveland and you say the name Grandmere, it's not many people who don't know exactly who that is. She, to me and many others, has a personality that is deserving of awards. She is warm, inviting, and leaves a long-lasting effect on you even when she isn't in your presence. That is something I saw and tried to apply to my own life. When you meet someone, give them a reason to remember you. When you greet someone, give them a reason to smile because you never know how that small gesture may be the very thing that can change the outcome of someone's day.
Most people that know me, know that I love a clean home and I attribute that to my mother who used to wake us up Saturday mornings with great old-school music to clean up our house. She of course learned that from her mother, my Grandmere and that is something I still practice today. Two things I was always taught is to make sure you have bleach in your kitchen when you clean. With that being said, if I come to your house and I don't smell or see bleach in your kitchen, chances are I am NOT going to be eating off of your dishes; paper plates please lol.
I also learned the importance of the "Clean as you Go" method. Most of us like to cook, most of us love to eat, but no one enjoys cleaning an entire kitchen when you're full and tired. My Grandmere taught us that as the food is being prepared, use the time you wait to clean up after yourself and tidy up your kitchen workspace. It helps to avoid the major cleanup afterward and it allows you to take pride in your space while enjoying your food stress-free.
If you know my Grandmere, then you know that she loves a good tune. If you know me, you know I love a good tune. Each and every time you are in her presence, be prepared to listen to her CD's, Albums, and now thanks to the digital world, her playlist. I gained an appreciation not only for music but experiences that music brings.
So Grandmere, if you're reading this, which I know that you are, Thank You for everything. Thank you for the valuable lessons that you taught me. Thank you for the lessons you didn't know you taught me. Thank you for the stories, the laughs, the tears, and the honesty and most of all thank you for always being there when I need you even if it was just to say Hey, I love you. Thank you for adding value to this Black man's life. With Love, Quente.