Questions for Grandma

First I want to thank you guys for allowing me the opportunity to have an outlet for my passion for creative writing, I have always had a love affair with words and the impact once put together that they have on people’s lives. I have written spoken word for Hamtramck you can log on and hear and read some of the works I have provided for them. I chose the topic If you can speak to anyone that is not hear anymore and why. I hope that you like my entry.

I would love to talk to my Grandmother, my father’s mother, she passed when I was six years old. Her name is Roberta Hudson. First, I would like to talk to her about her childhood. Second, I would like to talk to her about how she came to live in Detroit, MI, and lastly I would want to know how she felt I was raised and the impact of not knowing her side of the family impacted me. Although there are many more topics that I would love to talk to her about, her love and care is something I sought in every woman that ever came into my life, this is a small sample of what I would have said to my muhdear :))

My Grandmother is from Little Rock, Arkansas, I never knew when she was born. I want to know what was your mother and fathers names. I want to know how many brothers and sisters you had, and what was your family life like, and what, if any, relationship that you may or may not have had with your other family members like. What level of education did you obtain? What was the community like that you lived in? Did you work while she was there? Who was your first male interest? What were your dreams and goals? Understanding the time you were raised in was very racially charged, I would want to know how did that impact your life. Did you see or know of anyone that was active in the civil rights movement? Lastly I would want to know what made you leave your home where you were born and relocate to Detroit.

I recently learned that my father was raised on the west side of Detroit in a tough neighborhood now known to most as the number streets. I want to know what made her choose that section of the city. I never knew my Grandfathers real name. I was shown it one time on my uncle’s birth certificate and I saw one picture of him and I learned from my dad that he was from Cartersville Georgia. I would ask my grandma how did she come to meet him. What was there life like before you had my dad and my uncle. Did you want more than two children? Did you want a girl? Did you love my grandfather? Were you ever married to him, and was he a good father? Did he physically abuse you and were my dad and uncle ever witness to it. Why did you two break up? What made you move from that location to the projects on the eastside and then to the home that I spent most of my childhood in. How did you earn money? Why did you love drinking hot Colt 45 and drinking pal mals. How did you feel when you found out uncle Charles was addicted to heroin? What did you really think about my mother? I met your sister in 2000, it was the last time me and my uncle Charles was together in the street. Grandma I touched her face and begin to cry cause she was your twin. Grandma she held my daughter and my baby looked at her and smiled, grandma I never went back to see her. You had a legacy a family that for some reason my father has yet to tell me was withheld from me and my brother and I often wonder was it this missing piece of information that may have led to how my life has turned out thus far.

Like my dad and his brother, me and Mike were the only two children your son had by my mother. Now he had Charmaine later but her mom didn’t really know how to be a momma to two children that were to that point pretty much raising themselves. While me and mike managed to graduate high school and I even attended college while Mike went to the military, it was in no way because of the love, care and guidance that we received from our father. We were forced to care for ourselves in ways that no twelve and eight year old should have to. I wonder if you would have allowed my dad to put me out at 12. I wonder would you have allowed some of the brutal ass whippings he gave me and Mike. Mike was a baby when you passed, I often wonder would you have spoiled him like you did me, or did the first have that coming. Grandma I wonder if you were alive would I have been more aware of the traps and pitfalls that life can often capture talented young men in before they have the chance to mature and become successful. Grandma I really wonder what you would have thought of my child’s mother. I know you would have just went crazy about Kennedy, your great granddaughter. Grandma I know this talk was supposed to be a conversation but it truly would have been me just listening, like I used to do in the kitchen as you cooked the family meals before everyone came home.

In conclusion, I would give anything to see your smile again, to feel your hug. For my daughter to be able to see what true unconditional love really looks like. I promise that I will have this talk with you again cause you are not dead to me, you’re just as much alive in my mind as you were 42 years ago. I love u grandma.


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