This beautiful woman is Miss Carrie, my grandmother. When I refer to the historical home I live in as my grandmother’s house, this is the grandmother I’m referring to. To the long time residents of this neighborhood, I live in Miss Carrie’s house and nine times out of ten I am referred to as ‘Miss Carrie’s oldest grandbaby. That always makes me smile. Miss Carrie or rather Mama Carrie as we called her is my father’s mother. She passed in the late 90’s and although I miss her a lot, I live surrounded by her. I’m writing this post seated at the kitchen table where I ate breakfast with her when I was a little girl. I often drink my morning tea out of one of her china cups.
The name Carrie means ‘a free woman’ which I find amazing because her parents, Mama Hattie and Granddaddy Seabon were born slaves. I don’t know if Mama Hattie and Granddaddy Seabon knew what the name Carrie meant when they named her but it so fits her. It is personally overwhelming to me that she was named such as a child born to parents who were born slaves.
Mama Carrie went to school up to the eighth grade but was one of the wisest women I know when it came to finances. I asked her once if she had a credit card and she told me, “I wouldn’t have one of those infernal things.” She believed in saving for what she wanted to buy and in buying wisely. I remember she told me once to buy the best once, then you won’t have to buy it twice. She didn’t believe in changing out cars ever year. They would buy a good car, keep it tuned up, and drove it till it stopped. They didn’t spend wildly but lived, dressed and ate well and supported their church with their tithes and offerings. As far as I know there was always enough to go around. Wisdom like that comes in handy for these tough financial times.
There is so much I can tell about Mama Carrie, things I recall fondly. I tend to think about her a lot in the fall especially October. Every year she would ride the Greyhound Bus two days up to Michigan right around the fifteen to visit with us and she would always bring her heavy coat. A Southerner all her life, she didn’t like the cool temps of a Michigan fall. She always stayed for two weeks and made sure she was home in time for Halloween to pass out candy to the kids. I’m not a big supporter of Halloween, but every year, I leave my porch light on and hand out candy in her memory. Before she would leave to go home she tell me, “Baby, make sure you get your education first. Don’t get married until you can’t do anything else.” I knew what she meant but the phrasing always made me smile. I found out at her memorial service that she told my other two sisters the very same thing. She was a strong believer in education especially for women. She wanted us to take advantage of what she wasn't able to.
There will more about Mama Carrie and I will be posting pictures of Mama Hattie as well. I also have pictures of my mother’s parents, Mama Josephine and Granddaddy Marvin and I’ll tell you about them. They are all wonderful people. I thank God for the rich heritage He gave our family in our forbearers.
What are your favorite memories of your grandmother and grandfather? Please share them. I would love to about your grandparents.