Mbobo, do you remember the first time you held me?
Do you remember my first bath as mom was laying down looking at me in awe and counting every breaths I was taking?
Do you remember my running after you and hiding under your robe when playing hide and seek with Philomene?
I do remember all those moments but allow me to tell you about my favorites…
I vividly remember our first talk together where you looked at me, wiped my nose and while cutting some okok leaves, you told me all about being a woman. I remember my confused expression as my 8 years old could not make sense of them and was expecting one of your stories to tie them up together...
Grandma, the stories never followed but I grew fonder of our time spent together by the fire wood and the endless discussions about your childhood, your relationship with Grandpa and your perception of mom which were honestly my favorites.
As I aged and started looking for you in every woman in my life - because your strength, compassion and kindness couldn't find anywhere else-, I realized how deep your absence has been affecting me. You did not live long enough to guide me through my first period, my first kiss, my first altercation with mom, my first heartbreak… I also teared up when I walked on stage at Queens College knowing that you were physically not present. Teared up when I took mom out with my first paycheck. Teared up when mom spent her first night in my apartment….
Grandma, I made our dreams come through. I graduated High-school, got my Bachelor degree in The United States of America ( could you have dreamed that ? ), stood up for the weaker ones, launched my platform The African Blueprint and working on so much more.
I think you would have been proud of me. You would have loved the woman I ended up becoming. You would have however frowned upon my hairstyle ( I can almost picture your facial expression ), my talking too much and laughing too loud as I remember you constantly saying: “Stop it, a woman doesn't speak so much”. Now that I am mentioning the things you would have reprimanded me for, a couple just came to my head so let me just laid them out for you:
I enjoy having wine for dinner ( No, I am not an alcoholic )
I usually wear beads around my ankles ( Please do not roll your eyes )
I do not believe in the purgatory ( That is a conversation I look forward to having with you )...
Have you met my best friend Grandma?
You actually have and she is the most loving, trusting and kind person I have ever been around besides you of course. I love her so much the thought of not having her in my life keeps me awake at night sometimes…
She makes me laugh. She wipes my eyes. She makes me stronger. She reminds me of you.
Her name is mom and I love her!
I miss you mbobo and I can not wait to be reunited with you to tell you all about me.
*** Grand-mothers are called Mbobo in the Bassa tribe in Cameroon ***
Below are some extracts written by our community to their grandmothers… Read through them and feel free to drop yours in the comment section or directly under the post on Instagram