The Matriarch aka Big Mama
When I was a little girl I was blessed to have my great grandmother in my life until I went to middle school. She was bedridden but ruled with an iron fist and everyone respected her. She could "smell" when a woman was with child with no signs of a bump. And she would send you out to get your own switch to give you a spanking. I thought she was so mean and I longed to have a loving and nurturing Big Mama who would give me candy and allow me to eat pizza for breakfast. I often wondered "Why is she so mean?".
Now that I'm older I realize she was the Matriarch of our family and she held a responsibility much greater than anything I could imagine as a whiney little kid. She was a mid wife. She had lived through segregation. She had raised her children as well as children that weren't biologically hers. She was respected in the community and she was a hard worker.
While I missed the warm hugs and kisses I thought she should give me as I grew older I realized she gave me so much more in life lessons. She taught me that young ladies are seen and not heard. Young ladies were not allowed to be outspoken and rambunctious in her presence. I learned that although she couldn't read or write she could count and that took her far in life. She taught me the importance of knowing how to count money and how to keep your money close. She taught me the importance of family sticking together and how important it was to protect the family's reputation.
All of these are attributes that so many families are missing nowadays because they lack a Matriarch. I wish families were blessed enough to have a Big Mama so that young ladies could appreciate their own beauty and hold their heads up high. Youth would know how to count change without having to pull out their iPhone. Families would help each other out rather than having to suffer in silence. Lastly, our communities would be stronger because people would respect each other.
If you're blessed enough to still have a Matriarch in your family I urge you to spend some time at their feet. The knowledge they have the lessons they can teach you are invaluable. It's better than anything you would learn from social media or the Internet.
SIP Rebecca Huger