Posts Tagged ‘Family treasures’

PostHeaderIcon It takes a village …

By Vernalee
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Although Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton popularized “It takes a village” (to raise a child) in her same titled book in 1996, the theme actually originated from a well known African proverb. In Nigeria, it was always considered that raising a child was a communal effort. Growing up in a small quaint town, many hands in Glen Allan, Mississippi contributed to my upbringing. Reflecting after Thanksgiving, I uncovered another slightly variated meaning to the proverb. It took a village to prepare Thanksgiving dinner this year. It took over 7 sets of hands to prepare the feast that my late sister did all by herself. Though my sister’s recipes have been preserved amongst her daughters and several granddaughters, we realized in her absence that it was more than the delectable dishes that she prepared. Sure, my sister could cook up a storm. Her legacy however extended beyond the holiday preparation of food. It’s strange how we often take some things for granted. What we sometimes fail to fully appreciate, our hearts force us to comprehend. Unequivocally, my sister worked hard to bring and keep the family together. The food was just a conduit. Her house was the “Kool Aid” house; the family’s gathering spot. As we lite a candle this year in her memory while we individually related what we were thankful for, my sister’s house was not only filled with the aroma of her signature dishes, but the air also wreathed of a flavorful spirit of heartfelt love; a tradition that she fostered; a tradition that I trust as a family we can continue! Her village vibrantly lives through us … her family! A treasured memory … we will forever cherish!
Photo credit: www.eventbrite.com

PostHeaderIcon A treasured family heirloom

By Vernalee
2246936269_31c75f3cb9_o
Last year, a photograph of my Great-Grandmother was passed down to me for safekeeping. I was immensely thrilled and it showed as tears rolled down my cheeks! I love photography. Therefore, it is a privilege for me to be the responsible holder of this valuable piece. Tucked in an oval shaped wooded frame, I stared at the photograph for a considerable period of time. Having heard courageous and interesting stories about Great Granny, I visualized the aura of her personality; her spirit. This photo once hung in my Mother’s living room in Mississippi before it found its home at my Uncle’s residence in Warren, Ohio. It is the oldest known photo of a family member. In talking to my Mother, this photo was most likely taken in the late 1800’s. Saddened, my Mother stated that she has no photographs of her Mother. The photos of her Mother were tucked in a family Bible which was later lost. Interestingly, we indiscriminately take photos everyday with our camera phones, but photography was a rare luxury years ago for Black folks. Thus, this particular photo of my Great Granny has great ancestral significance. It traces our family’s history; it tells our story. As I named my daughter Phoebe after my Mother, so too was our youngest aunt, Minnie named after her Mother’s mother – our great granny. How’s that for tradition; a fact that the photograph tells to the younger generation. Yes, I am the caretaker of the oldest treasured remnant of our family’s history; the holder and preserver of generational memories which connect my maternal ancestry to its descendants. Photographs tell stories. They link our past to our present. What a responsibility I have as I am honored to be the caretaker of this heirloom!
Photo credit: www.vintageblackfolks.wordpress.com

PostHeaderIcon A treasured family heirloom

2246936269_31c75f3cb9_o
This week, a photograph of my Great Grandmother was passed down to me for safekeeping. I was thrilled. Tears rolled down my cheeks. It is a privilege for me to be the responsible holder of this valuable piece. Tucked in an oval shaped wooded frame, I stared at the photograph for a considerable period of time. Having heard courageous stories about Great Granny, I visualized the aura of her personality; her spirit. This photo once hung in my Mother’s living room before it found its home at my Uncle’s residence in Warren, Ohio. It is the oldest photo of a family member to my knowledge. In talking to my Mother, this photo was most likely taken in the late 1800’s. Saddened, my Mother stated that she has no photographs of her Mother. The only photos of my Grandmother were tucked in a family Bible which was later lost. Interestingly, we indiscriminately take photos everyday with our camera phones, but photography was a rare luxury in those times for Black folks. Thus, this particular photo has great ancestral significance. Yes, I am the caretaker of the oldest treasured remnant of our family’s history; the holder and preserver of generational memories which connect my maternal ancestry to its descendants. What a honor!
Photo credit: www.vintageblackfolks.wordpress.com; photographed individuals – unknown.

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