If you know me and my family then you know what an integral part of my life Lavelt Smith played. When I think of my grandmother, I think of family because that is what she was. When I think of strength I think of the only time in my life that I witnessed my grandmother cry. She thought I was asleep and while I wanted to reach out and comfort her, I felt the strength radiating from her soul and knew that she was being comforted by a being greater than me. When I think of joy, my ears still hear her laughter… the sound that used to escape her after fussing with me and finally telling me to turn around, stick my face in the crack and go to sleep. When I think about unconditional love, I think of my grandmother because she was love. She gave love in whatever way we needed and I am astonished at how she knew us each well enough to know which type of love we needed and just how to dish it out.
My grandmother is always a half a thought away but every year around this time I notice the mood changes in my relatives and myself. 15 years ago today, our strength, love and family was changed when my grandmother was called to serve The Most High.
Sometimes I sit back and reflect on the way losing the only grandparent I ever knew effected the way I marched into womanhood. What I realized is how I have been blessed enough to understand that while my grandmother is not physically with me, I receive everything she would have been giving me through the women she raised. My mother and each of my aunts give of themselves differently but they all learned to give their particular type of love from the woman who created them and to me, that makes them worth more than anything in the world.
It has taken me 15 years to realize that in addition to watching over me and motivating me, she is still right here giving me the things I crave through the women she raised.
And in true Smith form, I will be sad and miss her more than ever today but tomorrow I will continue to grow in family, strength and love.