Emma Jean Jackson is one of the most loving beings I have ever had the pleasure of learning from. Growing up under her care was an absolute joy for me. She is my grandmother and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and smile when I see her picture. When I was a young girl, it was her shadow I preferred to stay near. Each morning I would rise out of bed early to the smell of bacon sizzling in the skillet, coffee brewed, eggs to cook and grits bubbling on the back burner. “Good morning Big Mama.” I’d say with a kiss on her cheek. She always smelled so good. Not the kind of good like Saks Fifth Avenue perfume, but the good that speaks I’m familiar to what comforts and console you. Like I’ve held you close to my heart for years and you’ll long to smell me when I’m gone good. Scanning the living room, I could tell that as usual she had been up for hours. The washing machine was running, the dryer was buzzing and a clean load was already folded on the table. The living room had been tidied and dinner was being prepared to be put in the oven. I would ask her over twenty questions in the first hour of being awake, I was known to be quite the chatterbox. “How did you get the icing to look like that?” I asked. “Why did you put that in the beans?” She was always patient and would answer my questions. It was as if I was interviewing my favorite superstar and she was. This woman appeared larger than life to me when I was a child. Sewing, cleaning, along with running a thriving laundry service from their home kept her plenty busy. Years later when her husband, our grandfather was severely injured and burned in an explosion at work, she nursed him back to health while still maintaining a home and raising their children.
Emma Jean was known to many as an amazing cook. She prepared three cooked meals everyday with desserts made from scratch to drool over. No one would leave her home without a full belly and their hearts warmed by her love. It has been over 20 years since she was called home and those who knew her still talk about her pound cakes and her kind ways.
Of all her talents, the one that impacted me the most was her loving skills that she used when caring for my hair. It was her that I preferred above all others to care for my crown. Regardless of the time it required, patience and all the physical strength needed she was the only one who never complained. She made me feel special and in that moment I wasn’t made to feel bad because someone had to do my hair. “Did you have fun at Grand mama Richardson’s?” she asked. I forgot about the comb and nodded my head yes as she ran the hot comb down my strands of sandy red hair. “Tee-Tee, keep yo’ head still. Answer with your mouth or this hot comb will burn your scalp.” She warned. Even if I nodded off to sleep, I was always in awe of how she’d finish and have my hair perfectly laid when I woke. Magic!
Long before I was born, when storms would come we were told how her sisters and brothers would pack up their families leaving their solid brick homes to be with her and her family in their tiny house. Even as a child I overstood why they would come. Her walk. Her talk. Her love. It was everything and it gave a sense of peace and shelter. I could go on and on telling you how wonderful my memories are of her. She lived a full life creating, sharing, praying, caring and most of all giving unconditional love and acceptance to everyone. She was an amazing example of a Virtuous woman. I am proud to be one of many grand children who loved her dearly. I'm grateful that I was her first grand daughter and that she didn't tell me how to treat others she simply lived the example. We all have the power to touch people in such profound ways. Being our greatest version allows others to appreciate and love the realness of who we are. Whether you're a mother, father, Big Mama or Big Daddy just know that their are little ones watching and you have the power to choose how they'll remember you.
Peace and Light!
Love Talita Akana is a wife, mother, sister, and a friend. Over the years, she has shared guidance from the lessons she has learned. Grateful to be a vessel to assist others as a source of inspiration to touch another with what they learned to grow on their journey. This is Love.