I’m also a woman.  And being a mom isn’t the only thing that defines me.  Though it IS something I’ve yearned to be for years and I am so grateful to be Little Man’s mother.

I was a daughter and granddaughter before I was a woman or wife (or mom) and my family is still very influential in my life.

My maternal grandmother, who I call Momma (pronounced mum-ma), is in the hospital. She had breast cancer last Spring and the probability that it’s returned is high. Yet her symptoms (high calcium levels) aren’t easily diagnosed to a cause.  No matter what is causing the increase, she is still weak and is hospitalized. I’m not sure how much longer she’ll be with us. I want her around, but I don’t want her to suffer.  My grandfather died from lung cancer two years ago and he wasted away. Momma would not want that for herself.

Momma has always been a polarizing figure in my life.  I’m not sure mere words can explain her impact on my family.  My mom and aunt have been shaped by her in very different ways. It’s interesting. My mom did whatever my grandmother told her. Momma is like a force of nature.  And she will walk up to complete strangers and ask them their life story—and share much of hers.  My cousins used to be embarrassed by that, but I just found it amusing.

Momma always says to me “you tell it like it is.”  I got that from her.

Mind you she’s a piece of work at times. But mostly I think of her as a “grande dame” of yesteryears. She dresses in pumps and skirts (NEVER pants) and her pearls. Yet she’ll wear a robe around the house. It’s odd.  And she’ll tell you things “for your own good”. Like if you have a pimple. Or if your gray roots need covering. But she “means well.”

Yet she truly does. She’s helped me financially and she really cares for her family.

I don’t know how long my grandmother will be around, but I’m glad she got to see me become a mom and be a great-grandmother of 3 (including my cousin’s 2 children). Hopefully she’ll see more of Little Man’s milestones. You never know.