In honor of Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Month my blog will feature stories, lessons, and narratives focused on both subjects for the month of May. I think there is a connectivity between the two subjects and if you know me you know that I don’t believe in coincidences. Mothers are probably the most in need of mental health self-care and we make the least amount of time available to check up on it.
Tonight’s blog is in honor of my grandmother aka Ms. Agee. My sense of comedic timing, my love of cantaloupe, my ability to be a human jukebox and so many other characteristics can be traced back to her DNA. May is also the month we celebrate her 90th Birthday.
Now, if you know anything about black grandmothers you know for sure that they will comment on one of three things: your weight, your relationship status, and your clothes. In the case of my sweet humorous Ms. Agee I was batting 3 for 3 when I visited her. My grandmother thought I was cute as a button in my thigh hugging lycra dress pants (us thick chicks love stretch whenever we can get it) and lady with the gold afro and red glitter t-shirt. She adored my hair and wanted some So Yummy hair products for herself. And she didn’t ask me about a certain someone who is really just my friend. However, when it came to me getting more junk in my trunk and a little round in my mound her message was clear, “girl you picking up some weight there”. The only thing I could do was laugh and say “hey I like to eat and I don’t like to exercise, I bet Eve had the same issue back in the garden of Eden”.
As I walked through her apartment her mind raced to a suit she had hanging up. The conversation went like this:
Ms. Agee: Nita, what size do you wear?
Ms. Agee: I have a suit with a leather shirt I want you to wear.
Me: Okay, let me see it
Ms. Agee: Shows me the suit
Me: Ms. Agee! This is a 10!
Ms. Agee: Then use this as motivation to lose weight. I want to see you in it before I die.
Me: Well, I have at least another 10-20 years to lose the weight. You aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Ms. Agee: Who wants to live that long? People that old are ugly. Take this suit and go lose some weight so you can wear it!
Me: Ok, girlfriend if you insist (laughing hysterically and shaking my head).
This is what I love about my Ms. Agee but especially older women. They have no filter and give ZERO damns about your feelings. Whatever comes up comes out. Whatever comes out comes up. But I know it’s coming from a good place. Within our conversation she reminded me that she used to be fat. I do remember this as a child, but she was more like a 14/16 which I don’t really consider fat. Seeing her through my child-like eyes I just remember her being large and in charge and I loved it. Her lap was always a place of comfort and rest. Her full face always wore a smile. And I remember wanting a behind like my grandmother’s. She had it going on baby!
But for now I have a size 10 black and white striped, leather shirt and lapel suit to get into. I guess I better get off of this computer and get on this treadmill.