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My Grandmother, Daddy’s mommy, is now 95 years of age! 95! 95 years is a long time to do anything and she has survived 95 years as a brown skinned woman; most of which she spent raising children as a widow. Children who had children, got married, experienced abuse, died from disease, got divorced, moved to other towns, returned home, became grandparents and who represent the very best and the very worst of all that she is.

95 years of memory making. She’s one of the last of her siblings living. She’s had to face some tough battles without her Mommy and Daddy. She’s been the teacher and the student at the same time. She’s fed many mouthes and has also been fed well. She’s given of her time, talents and energy and now we get to give it back. She’s nursed the sick and hired and fired many of her own nurses. She’s seen and done a little bit of everything and a whole lot of Piccadilly’s!

We party every year on February 17th! She deserves it. Not because she did everything perfectly or because she’s the world’s greatest Granny, although I wouldn’t trade her for anyone else. She deserves to smile and see her heritage alive and active before her eyes. She deserves to see Great-great grandchildren dance. She deserves to see her sons grow up and finally get it together. She deserves to be celebrated because she is where we all began. (We, being my generation.)

95 years! From segregation to shared public spaces. From women who stayed home barefoot and pregnant to women CEOs and trailblazers. From Police spraying blacks with hoses in the street to having her eldest grandson serve on the police force! From wooden shotgun houses to stone covered mansions. From churning butter and homemade ice cream to snowball trucks and Fro-yo. From horse and buggy to Toyota Camry. Hair styles have come and gone and come again. Capri pants have been called everything from pedal pushers and knicker bockers to the now so chic, crop pant. Wigs are now sewn in. Nails are now dipped in powder. Makeup is an entire art-form.

95 years of becoming & discovering what it means to be a woman. Decades of evolving music. Transformative laws. Life altering natural disasters. Funerals. Births. Weddings. Birthdays. Breakups. Makeups. Sad stories. And most importantly, Belly laughs.

Thank God for 95 years. Thank God for Rebecca Jackson.

I am Eryka

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