I am celebrating Bertha Sanders my Great GrandMother on International Women’s Day. She passed when I was eleven and it was devastating because she was my constant protector. She would read from the book of Proverbs and Psalms with me on her lap as we rocked in her rocking chair.
She poured so much love into me in those moments I can actually feel them when I remember. I am positive she is responsible for molding me into a poet.
She taught me how to stand up for myself. She taught me that I could have whatever I want. She would tell her daughter (my grandmother), “Give that girl what she want.”. So, No, has never been an option for me because, well…….. I can hear her telling me, “Ne’sa be a good girl.” My nickname was Nesie but she pronounced it as Ne’sa.
This truly African American woman (her father was an African slave and her mother was indigenous to this place we call America) was a homeowner in the early 70’s. She did not have a husband. That is saying a lot considering her age, ethenticity and the history this country has when it comes to the very ones the colonizors stole from and mudered.
I get my hustle from the two grandmothers that raised me. Hard work was the norm in our house. The motto was if you don’t work you dont eat.
I know I get my will from her. She refused to die in the “white man’s hospital” she said when she passed on she would lie down on the couch, put her feet up and go home. That is exactly how she transitioned.
She exemplified to me, “You will have whatever you say you will have.”