My Bigmama was 97 years old when she left this place.
Everytime I returned home, I made a beeline to her from Midway Airport.
Scrambling up the steps to the door like I did with my siblings when we kids.
I had some of the best times of my life – in this house.
My Mother and Uncle grew up in this house.
My Bigmama spoke life into me one day – in this house and it inspired me to search for my folk.
To aspire to evolve – to be like her and her ilk as it was the cohesion and the loyalty to the notion of family that I saw in the women in my family, namely my Bigmama and my Great Aunts Lillian and Helen – settling in Chicago in the waning days of World War II.
When we had gatherings during the holidays – they were a grand affair, the air heavy with the smoke from Winston cigarettes and Old Style beer – the conversations were omnipresent and I remember the characters in their stories as if they were superheroes.
The best stories happened over card games – I hung on the stories and banter more than anything, never learning how to play a lick of cards – to this day.
This house was one of my greatest classrooms and when my Bigmama left this place I watched her heroism in the form of my brother as he honored her mandate.
As he adhered to one of things I attribute to her long life.
1. Her love of family
And another golden rule.
2. “Shit, that don’t got nothing to do with me!”