Feel free to call me over analytical or dramatic but today I got off of work early (9:30 am).
My grandfather frequently makes digs, saying since I make so much money (I beg to differ) I should take him out for breakfast sometime. However, this morning I was a bit hungover and sleep deprived aka, simply not in the mood to hold a conversation. I mentally constructed plans to go home and then immediately go to the gym in hopes to sweat out the Don Julio.
I was making good time, grabbed my gym clothes and was en route to the gym. Shamelessly, my gas tank had about 17 miles on it before empty. Passing the gas station,I made a mental note to stop there and get gas on my way home. Coming up to the stoplight, I see my grandfather’s pick up truck kiddie corner to me. He then turns into the same gas station I considered going to. Idk about you but I took this as a sign. I sighed deeply and laughed a bit as I made a u-turn now heading toward the gas station. I made the decision to act as if it were a complete coincidence that I was pumping gas the same time as he was. I asked him what he was doing the rest of the day, and sure enough he was on his way to Baker Hill for a cup of coffee. I immediately invited myself along with him, offering to pay for breakfast. He told me I didn’t have to pay but he’d love my company.
Fast forward to Baker Hill..
The thing about Pappy is that he is funny.. like old man funny. He laughs at his own jokes before he can even get them out. So that was the first half of breakfast.. me trying to understand what pappy was saying and laughing at him laughing at his own jokes.
The second half, we were making small talk. He asked me what was next for me after finishing school. I told him about my desire to teach black history in high school while also realizing it’s nearly unrealistic to think I can solely teach black history. We then spoke about America wiping her hands clean off any negative histories. This trial of erasure ensured America’s stagnant disposition as we continue to live in our own histories, stories that will eventually be called fictitious and swept under the rug, as so many already are.
Anywho… I asked my grandfather about being in the army. I was today years old when I found out he was stationed in Germany. I then asked him how he felt about being drafted, where he would potentially fight for a country that lacked reciprocity to it’s support toward it’s soldiers. He responded something like this.. America’s not a bad place. We just have truths we won’t admit to. You can’t take Black people out of its history….We are apart of America regardless of how high or low we are to society.
I guess it’s kind of funny.. I didn’t expect to mentally have so much in common with my grandfather. Not to have him alter my thought process on the functionalists of Blacks in the earlier days in America. I also think why the hell am I paying so much money to get an education in African American history… My grandfather moved up north from Tennessee when he was around 19 seeking job opportunities. I read about people in the great migration to Chicago. I’ve read about people with similar stories much like my grandfathers. The history of my people… I think in an earlier post I said my family’s lack of sharing our history was due to the mentality of Eurocentrism… and while I continue to stand by this… I also believe there is a flaw in my elders inability to articulate and analyze and share their experiences.
“You’re a beautiful young lady, you don’t have a tag along yet?”
My grandfather asks me. A tag a long, referring to a boyfriend… if I had a nickel for every time I was asked this I could by myself a boyfriend!! I replied saying no, just focusing on getting life to where I want it to be. He smiled and told me “You have to be proud of yourself. No one can stop you. They can slow you Down, but not stop you.”
~ be proud of yourself… no one can stop you~ continuously played in my mind.
I believe God directed me right to my grandfather this morning. He pushed what I wanted to the side today and made it nearly impossible for me to ignore his signs saying where I should be and who I should be at this very moment.
I always say this as I believe it to be true, God is up there laughing at the plans we make for ourselves.
In all ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path proverbs 3:6