Your Grandma, Your History, Your Future


Grandma Willa Lenard Hancock never let me know how it was going to be. I don’t recall any words of wisdom. Nothing. She was the only grandma I knew. My other grandma died in 1910; 41 years before my birth. Now, here I am at age 62 trying to gather all of my recollections of the Grandma I did know.

Grandma would visit. She had an air of queen status about her. Things had to be cleaned up and put away. Things looked clean and neat when grandma visited. Her thumb was on my mama’s neck. I can say that at 62.

When I was born, in 1951, grandma was already 70 years old. I don’t recall her doting on me, her last grandchild. She lived with her other daughter, my Aunt Sayde.

Mother always called Sayde ‘Sister’. I think Sayde was the favorite.

Whenever I visited Aunt Sayde in Jamaica, Queens, NY, I shared a bedroom with Grandma. Each night I had to say my prayers in her presence. During the day, I would play with my toys on Grandma’s bed for hours. That I remembered.

Grandma Willa was born in 1882 in Williston, South Carolina. She died in September 1975, two days after my mother. That’s a blur for me. I was on a Greyhound, leaving my grandmother to travel to see my mother who was in a Binghamton, NY hospital. She died before I could get there. My Grandma Willa died before I could get back to Jamaica, Queens, NY. I was in the middle of nowhere…

39 nine years later I’m here to tell you that you have stories to tell about your elders and Ancestors that will speak to your essence and the history of your people.

I’m also here to tell you that if you need help in getting out those stories of your elders and ancestors, I am here.

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I want to help you write your story and that of your Ancestors.
You should contact me at
geder.writes@gmail.com