Many years ago somebody somewhere tried to help me reconcile what I perceived as my Mother’s early death with a class. This class taught me to teach and encourage others in the proper procedure of Breast Self-Exam. At the end of this day long intensive I received a kit to go out into the world and teach Breast Cancer Awareness Classes. This is a full on kit complete with videos, flip charts, handouts and stickers. I was active in teaching these classes for many years. I would ask folks, family and friends to allow me to speak to groups in their Living Rooms and many did. I would set up the room and proceed as if it were a Tupperware Party, then I would share my Mother’s story and the impact of Breast Cancer on my life. But, there was always something I failed to share. I failed to share how in October of 1997 me and Lillian sat at my Mother’s feet and listen to her truth. How she told us what caused her cancer. My Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer some fourteen years prior to her death. My Mother lived Breast Cancer Free for right at fourteen years. My Mother told me and Lillian of how growing up with her Mother’s hatred of white people and keeping the knowledge of it all inside, caused her Cancer. We sat at her feet while she begged us to never keep the truth of what pains you inside. She begged us to find a way to let it all out. She made me promise to find a way to work the gift of pain from the inside out. My Grandmother hated white people with an unknown to you audacity. My Grandmother married my blacker than asphalt GrandDaddy more than once and then she married others. My Grandmother died five years after my Mother and pre-purchased her gravesite in Williamson Memorial Funeral Home and Gardens. When your Grandmother’s hatred of white people causes your Mother’s Breast Cancer: You think you may have the answer.
I always thought my Grandmother to be past bizarre. I experience her racism as a child, a young adult and finally as a grown woman. My Grandmother was extremely prejudice toward white people and although she was difficult to love, I loved the all of her.