January 25, 2018

What have you learned?

While I could list a million memories of times spent with my grandparents, there’s one that stands out for me when I think about my grandmother, in particular.  Born in 1916, during World War I, I’m sure my grandma learned a few things in her lifetime until her passing in November 1988.  The ability to keep on pushing until you reached your goal was probably one of them.  And that’s what she instilled in me – which leads to that the one particular memory: my graduation from North Carolina A&T State University. She was there to witness it.  For all the years of helping to raise me, to make sure I was a good girl in school, for making sure the house was clean and dinner was cooked, for encouraging me to never give in and never give up, she saw me become that which I dreamed of becoming from the time I was a child: a teacher.  That was her last trip ever!

I’ve tried to live each day and each year with a vision of my grandmother close by me – rooting me on and reminding me that I AM somebody!  And in my journey I’ve tried to instill the same in others, particularly my own sons.

She’s gone from this earth but not a day of the 29 years and 3 months has gone by that I have not thought about her. Not one day – especially on this day, her birthday! I don’t get sad. I feel appreciative because of the lessons she taught me – and the lessons I’ll never forget.

Who are you because of who lived before you?

8 Comments on “What have you learned?

Darnell Wynn
January 25, 2018 at 8:33 pm

It would definitely be my mother. A quiet, shy and classy lady. Hard working and very private. Beautiful but humble. Never in the spotlight but cared deeply. I feel most like her and carry those same qualities, especially not caring much for the spotlight.

Shawnette Somner
January 25, 2018 at 8:44 pm


January 25, 2018 at 8:46 pm

I’m a free and proud black woman because of my ancestors who lived before me. They have paved the way for me to become a successful, strong and responsible woman.

Shawnette Somner
January 25, 2018 at 8:47 pm

YES!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!

January 25, 2018 at 10:55 pm

The person that had a tremendous impact upon my life is my father, Bennie Clemons, Sr. My father raised 6 children on his own when my mother, at my age of three, left to go to Ohio. He combed and did the girls’ hair as well as clothed us. He was a double entrepreneur who taught us that life is not easy. You must get up, push, and make life happen for you. No one will do it for you. I thank him for teaching us that money doesn’t grow on trees. He taught all of us to be independent. I thank him everyday for weaning me from the nest and always telling me to “Have Your Own.” Be your own boss! I love and miss my dad….badly. I miss our talks.

Shawnette Somner
January 25, 2018 at 11:51 pm

What a wonderful first teacher!

January 26, 2018 at 10:02 am

I can certainly relate. If it wasn’t for my great aunt Viola believing in me Lord knows what would have become of me. Beautiful article.

Shawnette Somner
January 26, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Our ancestors have a great role to play! Look at you now! Awesome….


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