There’s a southern saying “That’s my heart right there”. My grandma was everything to me since I’ve been young. As long as I can remember she has always been there, sharing in the good and bad in my life. I often thought god had sent two great women in my life which are my mom and grandma. Gloria Husbands was this great woman’s name and she was one of the nicest most honorable people you could meet. She wasn’t even my real paternal or maternal grandma, she was just a real close friend of the family but she was always the person in our family who held things together.
I was born on April 8, 1989 on a sunny day in Houston, Texas 23 years ago. When I came out of the womb my grandma said,” Wow that is one white child, are you sure he belongs to you guys, no I’m just teasing”. She had that funny personality that just made everyone laugh when you were around her. She was also very lively and loved to go to Atlantic City to play the slot machines. She was also the one who told my mom to move from Houston to New York City so that she could earn more money and to give me a better chance at life. I always said she never had an enemy or meet a person that didn’t like her because if they didn’t like her she would probably invite them over for dinner and make her famous fried chicken with scalloped potatoes.
My grandma was firm but she was fair also. I remember when I was about ten years old and a had petulant for climbing her neighbor’s fence because of the tomatoes that her neighbor grew in her backyard. Her next door neighbor caught me just as I was about to the put the tomatoes in my pocket, I tried to run away but she caught me. When my grandma came home from shopping she whopped the shit outta me. After she beat me kissed me on my forehead and told me that she loved me but she had to discipline me. She said,” Drew I love you very much but you have to understand that was wrong what you did and I don’t want to see you making bad decision’s like that in life.”
She was also there at almost all of my baseball games. She really didn’t know much about baseball but when I was up at the plate she would cheer as loud as she could. I could always hear her voice in the background, “Just be patient honey and let the ball come to you. Come on Drew get a hit for Grandma”. Whenever I would get a hit or get on base I always gave her the thumbs up and she would give me a smile or a wink. I miss her sitting up in the stands cheering me on at baseball games, those childhood moments always bring a smile to my face. Afterword’s when the game would be over she would always say, “No matter win or lose I’m always going to be very proud of you”. I still remember when I was about ten years old and I had a championship baseball game that day. There were runners on first and second base, just two more outs and we would have won the game. I dropped the ball with two outs and both runners scored, we lost game. I remember feeling like I had let the entire team down and I basically cost our team the championship. My grandma said, “Hey baby don’t worry about it, I know it hurts right now but I promise you’ll get over it. Stuff like that happens but you were great out there kiddo”.
When I was eleven years old my parents divorced and it hit me hard. Every day I would come home and my parents would be arguing. They would scream and yell at each other at the top of their lungs. I tried not to let it affect me but it did in a major way. My grades had slipped in school but I couldn’t concentrate at home anymore with my parents constant fighting. My grandma stepped in and I told her what was going on. She looked at me and said, “Drew you will always have a home here if you need it”. Her house was like a safe haven for me because I didn’t have to worry about what was going on at home. I just focused on doing better in school and playing baseball. My mom sent me to live with my grandma while the divorces preceding’s were going on. I lived with my for about nine months and in that time I learned very valuable lessons that I still hold onto to this day. She taught that life isn’t fair but every day we get up and we keep fighting no matter what. She also taught me to think before I speak and not to bring shame to the family name.
I remember the day that I went off to college back in 2007 like it was yesterday. I stopped off at my grandma’s house to see her one final time before I headed upstate to Junior College. She fixed me something to eat and said,” Drew I’ve watched you since you were a baby and you have grown up quite nicely. Your 18 now on your own, I’m very proud of you and I can’t wait to see you walk across that stage to get your degree. I want you to have fun, become the person you can be and remember that Degree is your goal and never lose focus”. As I drove of she gave me thumbs up and smile.
Back in September 2008 I found out she had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. When I found out about it I was naïve to fact that that she would beat it. We would usually speak on the phone once a week but the woman who used to sound so lively and upbeat on the phone sounded so weak and frail now. I did some research that same night about Pancreatic Cancer, I found out people who have this disease don’t really have much time to live. It broke my heart when I figured out my grandma didn’t have much time to live anymore. On October 12, 2008 I found out my grandma was gone, she had lost her fight with Pancreatic Cancer but I know she didn’t go down without her fight. Now I sit here looking around at old photos of us laughing, I sit thinking about all memories I had with her and about the values she instilled in me. All I know is she’s gone now, she’s in heaven but she’ll always be my grandma. Always and Forever Ms. Gloria Husbands.