My “Village” is Dwindling…
Another pillar from “my village” has passed away. Rest in peace Aunt Mag. No more suffering. Eternal rest is yours. :)
The Parker Sisters (on my Mom’s side)……daughters of Andrew (Gus) and Sadie (Biggie)…up until recently, there were six: Blossom (my grandmother), Mary (my granny), Joeann (my godmother), Mag, Frances, and Sara Lee. Sara Lee passed away last year; she was the oldest. Mag passed away yesterday; she was the youngest. The only other sibling of theirs that I knew, their brother Abraham, passed away several years ago. In addition to my Mom, the Parker Sisters were the women that helped raise me. Mary, Mag, Frances, and Sara Lee all lived in Beaufort (and surrounding areas). Jeoann is in NY. Blossom is in GA. Growing up, I thought of Beaufort as my second home. All of my cousins were there, and that’s where I spent the majority of my time when we had breaks from school. I promised myself that when I got older, and moved away, that they would not be “forgotten”.
A trip around “the loop” to visit the sisters in that area is always on the agenda when I visit SC. We (my fam) hop from house to house, if only for 20 minutes or so, just to be able to say “Hi”, and share a laugh or two (and eat whatever is on the stove, at EACH house, mind you…lol). Up until last year, the same loop existed…Granny’s, then Mag’s, Sara Lee’s, then Frances’s. It saddens me that the loop that has existed for all of my 33 years is broken…..two stops are now no longer on the route. When Sara Lee passed away last year, I was comforted by the fact that I had visited her not too long before she died. She had me in her huge walk-in closet, picking out the matching gold dress, hat, and pocketbook that she was going to wear to church the next day. She lived within walking distance of Frances, so on my visits to see Frances within the past year, I just smiled as we passed Sara Lee’s house……
This hangs from a tree in her yard…
Mag is a different story….her house is off of the “path” (in another direction), so I haven’t quite decided yet how to cope with that missing “stop”. On my last “stop” at her house, which was in January, she was a little weak and dizzy, but still managed to fuss back and forth with me about whether or not she was going to eat the turkey wings that her sister, Mary, had sent for her. She MADE me take some home with me and put the rest in the freezer. I forgot to mention earlier how feisty and sassy the Parker Sisters are…I think that gene has been passed on through the generations..lol
The good news is, I know for a fact that she was at peace! During our last conversation (last week), she said that she was fine….her voice was the strongest that I had heard it in a long time! We laughed and joked about a number of different things, and before she hung up the phone, she said “Alright now, call me and check on me. I love you!” :).
“Give me my flowers while I am living” <—— I’m sure that it’s a very familiar phrase. It was taught to me by the late Rev. F.G.S.Everrett, pastor of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Orangeburg. As a kid, I would often doze off in church, but that is one phrase that will always stick with me. He said it loudly, and he said it often. I remember it every day.
I sent these to my mom via text message one day…..yeah, cheesy I know….but she was SO thankful!
That’s why I talk about my family so much! It’s easy to become transfixed on things that mean absolutely nothing! Trivial things. Minor things. Negative things. Petty things. Sharing those positive/funny moments about family and close friends is second nature to me! I love to laugh, and I have a VERY low tolerance for foolishness and people/things who waste my time. That’s how I was raised….that’s what “the village” taught me. ”Love God.” “Put God first.” “Yes ma’am.” “No ma’am.” “Please.” ”Thank you.” ”Share.” ”Have this.” “Have that.” “Help yourself.” ”Anything that you see in there that you want, take it.” That’s the village mentality…..always there to help, to nurture, and to grab a branch (switch) off of the nearest tree!!!
My trips back home will never be the same. The loop is broken. The village is dwindling, but the lessons and the memories live on forever. Although I am sad, I am happy. Although I will miss her, I have memories. Although she is gone, she is forever with me! No more mini-bottles of hot sauce in her purse at the restaurants for me, so I’ll just have to remember to take my own! Four of the sisters remain, and I will continue to cherish them as I have always done!
From Left to Right: Frances, Mary, Joeann, Mag, Blossom :)
Note: I dropped “Aunt” and a “Grandma” from thier names JUST to avoid redundancy in this blog…..I wouldn’t DARE call them by their first name only….lol….unless I wanted to be picking up my teeth off of the ground and putting them in my pocket!