SleepDeprivation

For the past week I had been having such a hard time sleeping. Normally if I couldn’t sleep it would be because my husband is snoring so loudly that the walls would vibrate, but this time, it seems it’s all because of me.

For about 4 days in a row I would climb into bed close to 3 a.m. and just lay there. I’d try to clear my mind or pray but really nothing seemed to help me sleep. Eventually I’d drift off  for about an hour and re-awaken to my mind racing again. I’d be consumed for hours about my business, strategizing  my next move or marketing tactic. “Is it gonna be successful? Am I just wasting my time? What if it doesn’t work?”

Then the questions turned into doubt. “Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Where are all the customers? Maybe my products just aren’t good enough. Maybe I should just give up the business and focus on my other goals.”

Then my thoughts switched to finances. “How are we’re gonna cover all our bills for the month?”  “We’re wise with our money, why is it we just don’t seem to ever have enough?” Then over to blog post ideas. “What will I write about? If I spend time on my blog this week will I have time for my other goals?” Then onto my music. “When am I gonna take time out to write, to produce my tracks, to record, to practice guitar, to do my vocal exercises?”

CharlieMae

I did this for a few hours until I fell asleep again, and this same process repeated for me, night after night, with different topics. Night 4 the topic was my Grandmother. I just couldn’t get her out of my mind. I started recalling everything that I could remember her teaching me or showing me throughout my life.  I remembered how at 18, I moved in with her, to keep her company while my grandfather was hospitalized. I can’t recall exactly how long I lived with her, but it was a very influential part of my life. We had lots of conversations about life. She cooked for me most nights. Sometimes washed my clothes or made my bed while I was taking classes at community college. She sent me on numerous errands and had me cleaning things around the house that she hadn’t touched in decades. She  made plenty of smart remarks about my hair because I was starting to embrace my natural texture, letting it grow out without straightening or chemical relaxers. My Afro & cornrows received plenty of N*gga Nap references and I would respond quickly telling her how proud I was of my hair because it’s the hair God gave me. I would get on her nerves and she would get on mine, but I loved my time at her house and she loved having me there.  Even if she didn’t say it, I knew she did.

Sometimes she can be a hard woman & very stubborn. She says what she wants even if it’s not always appropriate or politically correct, which gets on some family members’ nerves.  I don’t take offense to it.  After 90 plus years, I think she’s earned the right to irritate a few people.  She’s far from a saint, which is why I think I love her so much.  Her attempts to pretend she is one are hilarious, and I get a kick out of it.  She’s had a hard life and a physically abusive childhood, but she got through it.  A life I’m not too sure I could have handled as well. She still has the same independent spirit I remember from my youth. She can be funny as hell when she wants and mean as ever when she’s hurt, but she still has a soft side.  A quick kiss from one of her grand kids on her cheek can easily calm her storm.  She’ll talk about you like a dog if you don’t call her, and praise you like she forgot about it, when you do. That’s Charlie Mae.

Since I left home at age 20 to go away to College, my conversations with my Grandmother had been very irregular with months or at times a year in between.  Still, she was there at my graduation, sliding $300 into my hand along with a proud look as I kissed her cheek.  Because I never returned to my parents house after graduating,  I would either call her or stop by to visit whenever I was in town, which became few and far between. I got married in 2002.  After I had my son in 2008, I started keeping in touch with her more often, but in these last few years, not so much.

TheInterview

The reason why I hadn’t been able to sleep. I felt like God was telling me that it was time to have a conversation with my Grandma again.  I hate thinking about it, but I know that she’s not always going to be here. I’m not always going to be able to see her or speak to her and there’s still so much that I want to know about my family history & her life.  I needed to ask her the questions I’ve always wanted to, before it’s too late.

So the next morning, I jotted down 10 questions I wanted to ask her and called her to let her know I wanted to interview her. I won’t tell you what she was eating when I called.  Some of you not used to Black Country Cuisine may get a little queasy.  So I called her back after she got done eating and in typical Charlie Mae fashion she said, “Do I need go get anything for this?”  I said, “No Grandma, I just need your memories, this is gonna be all about you”.  She loves being the center of attention, so I know that made her day.

From the beginning, my intention was to record our conversation so I would be able to re-play it later on or archive it for family history.  So before we began I pressed the record button on my Voice Recorder app and put her on speaker phone.

Throughout our conversation we spoke about things that really affect me now as a woman such as Motherhood, Marriage, Gender Roles & Responsibilities, Dreams & Regrets. It really was one of the best conversations I ever had with her.  I learned so much more about my family & my grandma’s life both good & bad.

It wasn’t until 1 and 1/2 hours into our convo though, that I noticed my recording stopped after 1 minute in.  My heart sank a little.  We talked about so many things and I didn’t capture any of it.  The best parts were about her meeting my grandfather, getting married & becoming a young mother. Although I had a notebook and jotted down a few notes here and there, the bulk of our discussion wasn’t documented at all.  I was so disappointed. I mean how do you recapture such a moment?  You can’t.

LessonLearned

Later that night, I was praying and thinking about everything she said and it dawned on me that maybe what we discussed was never meant to be recorded. Maybe that conversation was just for us…for me.  What I thought I wanted to get from our discussion really wasn’t what I actually needed.

I have so much going on in my life right now that I’ve been questioning, debating, doubting or procrastinating on. The very things that keep me up at night that I’ve been seeking God about are the same reassurances that I needed and received from speaking to my Grandmother.

My Grandma is truly a unique lady.  There is nobody like her and never will be.

When the doctor recently told her she can no longer eat Spinach, Kale or Greens because it interferes with her Comedin (Blood Thinner) medication, do you think she listened?  Hell to the Naw…she still eats what she wants when she wants. That’s typical Charlie Mae.

Only God could know that a conversation with my Grandma would be more effective than a direct revelation from Him at this time. He knows me better than I know myself. Only He could know that her words alone would light such an explosion of motivation in me, to force me to shake awake from my 35 year slumber.  Although I’ve been functioning, moving, setting goals & accomplishing things throughout my life, I feel like everything before a few days ago, has been a sleep walk and now my eyes are fully opened…again.  Her words are making me pay closer attention to my life’s purpose. They’re prompting me to pay closer attention to every single blessing I’ve been given. Even things that most of us consider to be common to our time & era, are major blessings.

I don’t have to travel seasonally to work, like my grandmother once did. I can get my water out of a faucet and not a pail as she once had to.  I could hop in my car and go wherever I please for as long as my gas tank will take me and had this ability since the age of 18.  I don’t have to hang lines of cloth diapers and baby clothes, I can simply throw my son’s clothes in my own washer & dryer.  I can be or do whatever I want with very little limitation. I can live out my life’s dreams without societal barriers. I have access to information and knowledge about pretty much anything I’ve ever wanted to learn via modern technology & public resources. I’m educated. I’m smart. I’m wise. I’m funny. I’m beautiful. I’m sexy. I’m a lady. I’m strong and I’m a fighter.  I don’t have to downplay any of these things about myself out of fear of not getting to where I want to be in this life.

The things we take for granted these days are the very things that most people of my grandmother’s generation prayed for and longed for in their youth.

It encourages me to know that there is someone out there right now praying for the very things that I already have.  A healthy child, a good marriage, a sound mind, an able body, a wealth of knowledge & skills, and entrepreneurial spirit, talents, respect and a host of people that love & care about me.

I understand now that life is only going to continue being as hard as I make it.   I may not have everything I want right now, but I have everything that I need.  I don’t have all the answers, but I have all the tools I need to get to the answers.  I’m Happy.

All of this reminds of Phillipians 4:11-13 that reads:

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

I need my Heavenly Father everyday to breathe new life into me.  I need to be reminded of what’s really important. I need reassurance that I can and have overcome many obstacles just like my Grandmother did. Just like my mother did.

The fact that I am able to interview my 90+ year old grandmother, and she still remembers down to the detail her major life experiences, is nothing less than amazing to me. The fact that she’s still here alive and well, still just as spunky as ever, is a blessing that I am eternally grateful for.

This post is powered by #BLMGirls. Learn more about #BLMGirls HERE. You can check out other posts from our#BLMBlogHop by visiting the link below.

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Founder, Editor-in-Chief of Women's Lifestyle Blog, Naturally Stellar | Beauty Writer and Content Creator | I left corporate life 7+ years ago, to pursue my goal of becoming a writer. Boom!! I did that! Now I'm an accomplished writer and boss babe running a successful blog business. You should hire me! #RockStarMoms
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17 Responses

  1. phenomenalmama

    Awesome post! And you are TRULY blessed to still have your grandmother in your life. I am a genealogy buff, so I got chills reading about the interview! I would give anything to be able to go back in time and have an interview with my grandmother (she passed away over a decade ago). There are messages and signs everywhere if we only stop and pay attention. I think there are big things on your horizon sounds like you have some very strong (and spunky) blood running through your veins 😉 Best of luck!

    Reply
    • Naturally Stellar

      I really do have some spunky blood. Talking to my grandma and mother always reminds me whenever I’m not too sure about things. Your grandmother still lives on in you as well even if you didn’t get the chance to ask the things you always wanted to know. Thank you so much for reading my post, I’m glad that it spoke to you. Come back soon Phenomenalmama.

      Reply
  2. Natasha G. Samuels (@OneWomansStyle)

    What a wonderful post… and timely for me. I’ll start exhibiting more gratitude but I can never be content. Not now anyways. (-:

    Reply
    • Naturally Stellar

      I know exactly how you feel Natasha. Being content is something that you have to sort of train yourself to be. It simply means that you’re okay knowing that things are going to get better. It’s not really a happy place, it’s more of an OK place…a grateful place. Right now, I’m going through a LOT of personal struggles, but I’m content because I know that it’s not always gonna be that way. I’ve learned to be OK during the rough times & wonderful times. When I have a lot and when I have a little. You’ll get there someday, actually I think if you can start with the gratitude part, then you’re pretty much there.

      Reply
  3. Daphne aka "Mushy Mamma"

    Love this post, sounds like you have an awesome grandmother, my granny was very similar. I too have started to think it be great to document family stories so that they can be shared down the line. Continue to have great conversations with your grandmother, you never know what you’ll take away from them. i know I took away a great deal from your post today. I am now following you thanks to the #BLMBLOGHOP # BLMGirls

    Reply
  4. Brandyne

    This is truly an amazing post. Your grandmother sounds a lot like mine. It’s good to be reminded of who we are and what God has done for us and through us. I really needed this!

    Reply
    • Naturally Stellar

      Glad you liked it and I’m glad I wrote it. It’s nice to share my private thoughts and touch someone else’s life. I can talk all day about my grandma. She’s something else.

      Reply
  5. Britton

    Beautiful post! I am glad that you were able to talk to your grandma and get some motivation! Grandparents are truly a mess, but provide us with so much wisdom and guidance.

    Reply
    • Naturally Stellar

      Thanks. They really do. My grandma is a trip and I’m sure she thinks I didn’t pay attention to half of what she’s told me, but I listened to every word 😀

      Reply

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