When my mother agreed to marry my father, she had one condition to which he readily agreed.
One week after they married, my grandmother came to live with them, so from 1947 until her death in 1989, Mama Ene spent the majority of her days with us. She occasionally took a “vacation” or went to live on her own, but it never lasted very long.
My parents had careers, so my grandmother ran the household. My brothers, sisters, and I had a definite wake up and bed time schedule. We each were assigned chores and responsibilities. We always showed her our school work and grade cards first, and she made sure we studied or did our homework before our parents came home every day.
After we accomplished our obligations, she shooed us outside to “get some sun,” and on days when the weather was bad, she came up with ideas to encourage our creativity. She was a no nonsense lady, but under her stern exterior, she loved and cared for us. She wasn’t the type to sit and have a tea party with me and my dolls, but she would bustle about in the kitchen and return with Kool Aid and cookies to help in my pretend.
It was only after I moved away from home that I realized how blessed I was to have had three parents in one household. Now that I am a grandmother, there is not one thing I do that isn’t guided by her hand or her advice. She leads me through my day from the moment I arise to the moment I lay my head on my pillow at night.