Guest Post: A Grandmotherly Anecdote

Please welcome my beloved Mother, Barbara Smith…

My sainted mother-in-law taught me a lot of wise things. One of them sparked an interesting conversation recently. Mom was always telling my
children not to run in the house, jump off rocks, etc., because “Mommaw is old.”  I often tell three-year-old Luke, “nGogo [Zulu for grandmother] is
old. I can’t get down in the floor and play cars with you.”

The last visit I had, we were getting ready to play a game at the dining room table when Luke said very matter-of-factly, “nGogo, you and MKhulu
are old.” I agreed, and he continued, “You’re gonna die someday…maybe Saturday, or Wednesday, or next year.”  And with his little arms stretched out, waist level, palms up, shoulders up, head cocked to the side, he said, “What will happen then?”

I said, “Well, I will just be up in heaven, and I will say, ‘Wonder when Luke will come to visit me?'”
He looked at me with his skeptical and patient and a bit disappointed look and said, “nGogo, dead people can’t talk!”

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