Thursday, February 17, 2005

Grandma's Hands

In honor of black history month, Gregory Chess , an African American who resides in Half Moon Bay and owns HMB Environmental had this to say about his grandmother's hands.

Grandma's Hands, Lord they really came in handy!
As a young man born and primarily raised in the deep south,I have come to understand but never forgot the rage that i felt while in the military and needing to return to Louisiana for my grandfather's funeral, being brought up in a culture where the matriarch,the hub, the disciplinarian was grandma, I'll never forget the feeling of rage and disgust that rocked my body when my grandmother was delegated to the second row of seats at my grandfathers funeral due to the fact that his former employer and family decided to grace us with their presence and custom, fear , Jim Crow or whatever warped sense of protocol dictated that they had to set alone in the front row,nearest the casket of the man that died sweating for them.

Perhaps in everyone's life there is a defining moment when the abstract becomes tangible and solid; the end of your first teenage love affair can bring clarity and meaning to the word love, a death of a love one defines grief and loss, in that moment for me, it was beyond outrage and although at the time I was being trained to hate and kill the Vietnamese,it was that day in a small church in Louisiana that I discovered that I had never embraced hate before.

It seemed that grandma had an awareness that no one before or since has possessed, a deep awareness and sensitivity of the pain of anyone in the community,so while everyone else at the funeral was paying attention to the ritual and circumstance, she seem to sense my very real pain and rage, with a trembling hand she reached back and touched mine and said, "Baby! Grandma left her scarf in the car, would you go out and get it for me? Iit was such a small thing at the time and only now do I come to understand,the comfort,safety,the >> love

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