You’re going to your grandma or what did you just say? People often ask me when I tell them that I am going to my grandma. Are you serious? Yes, I chuckled. But how come you’re black? Well, she is neither my maternal grandma nor my paternal grandma; we’re not related by blood. So how did you meet her? It’s always with great pleasure telling people this story.
It was my first time in the city of Odessa where I’ve been studying for the past four years. I didn’t know anywhere and I need to pay a fee in a particular bank in order to process my accommodation for the session. I started asking people for direction, some misled me to the wrong place; but fortunately I asked from the right person after asking from many people, almost tired of asking. Thanks to my little knowledge of Russian language then.
An old woman was passing by when the right person was describing the direction of the bank. She overheard our conversation and she said I know there boy. I’ll take you there. Oh thanks I replied. Actually she was going to another place but she spared her time for me and took me to the bank. On our way to the bank we started talking, she asked me where I am from and we discussed many other things too. We exchanged numbers after getting to the bank and she left. To me, that’s gone. She has done me a favor and that’s gone.
Later in the evening, I have been given the necessary accommodation; I packed my entire luggage in and finally had a sense of relief. Oh! I finally have somewhere to stay. After that, I was bored because I did’t know anybody here and nowhere to go. I decided to go outside sitting by the gate of the university and wrapped in loneliness looking for camaraderie to talk to. An old woman called out my name loud Muhiz, is that you? Yes, I said. She was carrying water melon and polythene full of vegetables, and some other things. It turned out to be the same old woman that helped me out. I quickly offered a help, but she insisted saying no. I persuaded her and she agreed. This is how I know where she lives and since then we’ve been friends, she has been my grandma ever since and a loving one.
Dealing with her sometimes is very difficult, but I do understand her condition as I have lived with my paternal grandma back home. To me, there is no difference, even though she is white. They all have the same in common. I have learned that when dealing with the old you need to be very patient, I mean extra ordinary patient, and learn from them as much as you can. Treat them with respect knowing that someday you will become one, and that they were once like you, young, energetic, and strong. This is what I have learned from my white grandma and still learning more as she shares her past experience with me.
MOAB © 2013