Nothing takes the wind out of my sails like a day with my family…specifically my grandmother. I realized when I was about 5 years old that I would never meet her expectations. I honestly don’t try to live up to her sliding scale of expectations. I just wish that we could come to some sort of agreement wherein she would not let me know that I’ve yet again disappointed her and wherein I would take what she says with the proverbial grain of salt and let her bitterness roll off my back like water off a duck’s back. But, for some reason, the darts that she continually shoots at my heart find their targets. Today I chose not to volley with her, even given some really great, and I mean FREAKING GREAT opportunities.
When (if) I am a grandmother, I want to be a person around whom my grandkids can be themselves and feel good about it. I don’t want people feeling insecure around me. I want to bring out the best in people. During orientation at Temple, the kids who ran the program told us about Dr. Conwell who founded the school. He began the school in North Philadelphia because he say potential in the area…he saw diamonds in the people of the neighborhood so he wanted to give something back to the community. He founded Temple on the premise that higher education should be tenable for everyone, including inner-city working-class people. Maybe because I attended Temple that is part of my legacy now–that it is my desire to make God tenable to everyone, and that I want to bring out the diamonds in the rough people that are both in my family and whose paths I cross.
I thank God for hymns. This is actually hilarious because I didn’t grow up with them and quite frankly, it’s taken me a while to get to the point where I like them. On my way to church, the song, “Nothing but the Blood” was playing. It played again on my way home from church. This afternoon as I was under fire, that song played continually in my mind. And it is still playing right now.