“Baby Jay!” That’s what she calls me. That’s the beginning of our relationship. When she was introduced to me for the first time, and she held me in her arms, those are the words that came from her lips. And I’ve forever been her “Baby Jay!”
There is no better fragrance than that of nature… clear, open skies, chirping birds, various flowers, plum and pear trees, and freshly washed clothes hanging outside on the clothesline. Euphoria. Absolute, complete, divine, transcending, euphoria. What other way could one describe his grandmothers house?
The fondest memories come from you chasing us around with that leather strap. “Imma beat y’all ass!” you would say. But it was all love. There is not a more caring, loving, or giving person in the world.
The distinct memory of pulling a not quite ripe pear from your pear tree and biting into it. Ah! The taste of it still floods my memories. The scent of the plum trees danced through summers air. My tongue jumping in excitement as I bit into the warm, soft skin of the plum. Then it jumps again when there’s nothing but the warm seed in the center. Oh, that amazing taste of childhood.
You are the reason our family’s bond is unbreakable. Instead of cousins, we’re siblings; all of us. Your house was/is sanctuary. If those walls could talk. Man, if those walls could talk. They’d tell a million stories. They tell how every holiday I’d beg for your homemade chocolate cake. They’d tell how my sister begged for your strawberry cake. They’d tell how you’d give me a whipping, then allow me to sleep in your bed, while you slept on the couch. Because you love me. I’m forever your Baby Jay!
“Grandma loves you, and I always will, baby!” That’s what you said when I came out to you. I never told you this, but I cried when we got off the phone that day. No other opinion mattered, only yours! If grandma was okay with me, then I could be okay with myself! You gave me the strength I need to live in my truth!
I’m so thankful… eternally grateful. You raised my father to be the best dad in the world. He is a provider and a caretaker. He raised five children, and a wife, and never complained. He never missed a day of work. He never misses an opportunity to make money. He never misses and opportunity to SHOW us how much he loves us. You did that. You raised him and, coincidentally, raised the next generation. The old adage goes, “It takes a village!” You are the village. You are the pillar, our strong-tower.
I love you so much! Thank you for all that you’ve ever done 🙂
Baby Jay! xoxoxoxo