The Flowering Vine: Mother Speaks

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Hello Friends and Family:

The following is based on past conversations that I had with our family’s Matriarch, “Mother.”

Mother, who passed away a little more than four years ago, was a very intelligent and educated woman who had some definite opinions.

You’ll learn more about Mother as the series unfolds.

 

Mother Speaks

You may not believe this but a long time ago a fortune teller told me I was gonna marry a White man.

HA!

She shole did!

Back then, I didn’t think too much about it.

At least not until I met my husband.   

Baby, when I first saw him, that woman’s words came back and hit me like a ton of bricks!

Now, I know you haven’t met him but my husband looks like a White man.  

I say that because his Mother’s parents were both mulattoes and his Daddy was fully White.

And, because of that, everybody in his family looks White!

I guess that’s why the fortune teller said what she said.

As for me, they say my people are part Indian.

Now I don’t know if that’s true.  

All I know is that we have high cheekbones, reddish skin and thick hair so I can see why folks would say that.

But you know what?  

Sometimes, I just sit back and laugh to myself because White folks around here don’t make no distinction about what color Negroes are.  

They don’t really care about no dark skin-light skin.

To them, if you got one drop of Negro blood, you a Negro.

And that’s just all there is to it.

But it’s not as simple as it sounds.

It’s really very complicated.

Let me explain.

You see, my husband and I had 6 children.  

Our first baby died.  

Folks said she was too pretty to live.

But that didn’t make it no easier on us.

Anyway, we have three girls and two boys– and baby them children caught hell because of their looks.

Ooh Lord, you oughta heard the names people called ‘em!

Oh and I’m talking about grown folks too!

Them grown folks talked bad about my children just as much as other children did.

Chile, they said all kind of stuff:

“They think they better!”

“Them red niggas!”

“Them high yella niggas”

“Squaws”

“Indians”

“Stringy haired”

Umph…it makes me sick just thinking about it.

And what makes it so bad is that sometimes the Negroes was worse than the White folks.

Baby, my children heard it all!

I can’t tell you how many times they came home crying because somebody was picking on them about their hair or their skin color or their “White” Daddy.

They couldn’t help how they looked!

Ooh!

I can’t talk about it no more!

Let’s change the subject before I get too upset.

 

 

Anyway, I heard that my children and their children are working on a project about the family and I plan on helping them in any way I can so you might see me pop up every now and then.

I ‘spect, they’ll be going back through time to tell you a little bit more than I did.

Til next time, y’all take care.

 

 

41 thoughts on “The Flowering Vine: Mother Speaks

  1. Oh and I love that picture too at the top. That seat is so inviting. I just want to go and sit on it with my cheeseburger and cherries (ok, maybe leave the cherries for another time ha ha) and chat some patois with you! YYYYYYYAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. AMAZING Bench that saved a wretch like me! ROTFLMAO!!! I thought it was the one your daddy made! Well tie me to a tree and call me Doubting Thomas! I can’t believe it? What an amazing find to go with your amazing post. Well done m’Lady!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my Lady G, this is YYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!
    I was gripped from start to finish! Beautiful mother, beautiful daughter (the other kids too!!!), beautiful words – everything about this was beautiful. What a memory to treasure? Ok the attitudes to the various shades of skin colour is not appealing, but it all makes the picture you paint come alive in the mind of the reader, and without it, one may have surveyed said “painting” and thought, this is really good, but I can’t help feeling something is missing. This post is a vivid reflection of life with its sheer astounding beauty and the inevitable ugliness which are part and parcel of the “deal”. You don’t get one without the other.
    Not to take away from your post, one psychic did tell me say me ago meet wan white man – me no bless me yeye pon ‘im yet? Whey im dey? hahahahahha Mind you she got a load of other stuff right, so maybe I shouldn’t complain.:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ROTFLMAO!!!! She owes you a good man huh?!!!!
      What’s the refund policy?
      LOL!!!!!
      Seriously, thank you so much Lady M. I really do value your thoughts on this. Sadly, as you know, this whole colorism thing followed black folks everywhere they went.
      Ron and I thought it was important to shine a light on our family’s experience.
      Your warm words are just what I needed to hear 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I nearly missed this message Lady G. It never appeared in my notifications – just by chance I was scrolling through and saw it. Well actually the psychic who told me this is my hairdresser. And to top it all I didn’t even know she had the “gift”. I’d been going there for about 20 years!!!! It was only after my mother passed and I went to have my hair done (not exactly after but about 5 years after her death), my hairdresser told me 2 people were standing beside me and then she went on to give me these extremely accurate messages. So there was no payment exchanged and so (ha ha) I’m not due a refund! But shortly after this message was given to me about meeting someone (who was going to be white), I was on my way to Jamaica for a holiday, and this blonde man at the airport when we landed in Kingston was staring at me for a good half-an-hour if not longer. I of course averted my eyes and pretended I didn’t see what he was doing. I wonder if it was meant to be him? HA HA HA!

        Yeah, tell me about the colourism thing – we have it over here too, my love. It seems like those legacies of the slave trade are still very much with us today. Sad but true. It’s really ironic that Black people have a thing about the different shades of black – seriously??

        Mind how you go now Lady G. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Lady M, I wish I could come to the UK to see you. Girl it would be nonstop mayhem!
          We’d be laughing so hard that the country would have to evict us.
          Ol’ girl done missed her chance with the Blond edude! LOL!!
          Go back, he’s still waiting on you!

          Yeah, colorism ain’t no joke.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I can only hope that one of these days this gorgeous little bundle of fun (you!) will grace the shores of Hinglan (England) your ladyship.
          Can’t stop to talk, gotta get my air ticket back to JA to see that blonde dude!!!! LOL
          Second thoughts: betta ‘tap whey me dey. Plenty bland man dey ya so. An de dunny (money) kinda tight! LOL

          Like

  3. Pingback: The Flowering Vine: To Mary ! – seekthebestblog

  4. Hi Gwin
    I could hear those words clearly & felt I was sitting cross-legged on the floor listening to the tale.
    There is a wealth of potential here, the account certainly breaths out ‘book’.
    Don’t be afraid to push on further with this honouring of your family.
    All the best Gwin

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice my dear! And, unfortunately, yes very true what WE do and say to one another, even to this day. My youngest daughter is darker than my oldest, and adults always ask her if my husband is her father…ignorance passed on from generation to generation.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much K!
      That means a lot coming from you.
      Girl I can relate to what you’re saying because I had one parent who was tortured for being ‘half-white’ and one parent who was beaten for being too black!
      Okaaaay????
      People can be so ignorant. I once knew some fraternal twins that people referred to as the light one and the black one!
      Seriously?
      I bet you nip that kinda crap in the bud real quick when it comes to people saying things like that to your babies.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. smh on all accounts!!! Girl. They never say it to me. They say it to her and then she won’t tell me for days lol cause she already knows…I do not play about that. I just think it’s hella rude (see what I did there), especially for an adult to approach a child like that.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww…thank you Paula! I appreciate that 🙂
      The conversations that I had with Mother were all in the late 1980’s but her story with my Granddaddy runs from the early 1930’s until he passed away in 1994.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Lady G- I really like the way that your writing embodies your characters. I can hear them, I can see them and the real gift is I can see the story they are telling. You are very skilled with dialogue. I know this is a blog series but do you think that you and your collaborators might turn it in to a book? Just sayin…… Terrific work! I am in awe of your talent.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Susan, you just don’t know how much I appreciate your generous compliment. I was sweating bullets as I pressed the ‘publish button’ because I know that so many of “Mother’s” children might read this.
      As for a book, someone suggested that on the original introductory post to this series.
      Again, it feels good to know that talented writers like yourself admire what we’re doing.
      I thank you 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Bravo! Bravo! my love. I can hear “Mother” speaking through you, in the words you wrote here.
    Readers! I must tell you a quick little story.

    Lady G and I had a conversation yesterday, in which we were discussing the introductory post to the new feature on her blog. Previously, I thought we’d agreed that she would do the first entry on “The Flowering Vine”, however, in the conversation yesterday, she informed me that it would be I who’d do the Friday post.

    Today, however, she called me about something she’d “received’ and that really needed to go in today. She said, “Let me read it to you”. Of course, I acquiesced.

    Man, let me tell you something. My ears were on fire! This piece is “on fire”! It’s so inspired.

    Another thing that ya’ll don’t know is; this girl can talk, EXACTLY like Mother. All who’ve heard her do her “Mother” voice, I’m sure would agree.

    I couldn’t see her because we were on the phone, so it was easy to imagine that Mother was on the other end of the line. I had to shake myself when she was done reading the piece.

    Great job Lady G! You’ve set the bar high.

    But, we all have a story to tell so, I’ll be shooting for the moon, and if I miss, I’ll be among the stars.

    My Cousin THE STAR!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That was soooooo sweet, kind and encouraging of you to say.
      You know I gotta come with an “A” game if I plan to stand next to my big cousin Ron Brown aka “The Black Mark Twain!”

      Ron, I can’t even begin to thank you for having my back on this! You know how nervous I was about posting it! But I just remember us deciding that we were going to go ‘all the way” with this series so it feels so good to know that you approve.

      As for sounding like “Mother,” it is SO MUCH easier for me to impersonate her live.
      But, I find that it’s not that easy to try to write her.
      But with that said, she really seemed to come alive here when she starts talking about her children and how hard things were for them. They were her passion. Frankly, that was the part that “came” to me early this morning.

      By the way, Mother really did tell me that a fortune teller told her that she’d marry a White man! LOL!!! I wonder if she told any of the other children or grandchildren.

      Anyway, I can hardly wait to see what you post next week. I am just so happy that you’re happy with the first post.
      I love you babe!
      Gwin

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much my friend. I really appreciate that compliment 🌹
      I was just chatting with another blogger about the magic that happens when we pair music with stories 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  8. YAY, loving the first installment of what I know will be even more greatness. Kudos!!! My mama always told me that we are all cookies in Gods ovens, some cooked a bit more (skin color) but that we were all good and equal 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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