Winnie

Every time she saw me her face lit up.

I never doubted her love, it never was in question.

For many of the other adults in my life, this was not the case.

It’s not that they didn’t show love, it’s just that they were busy with other aspects of life. And they also showed every other emotion, frustration, fear, anger, disappointment.

Not Winnie. She would talk to me and make me food and she was oozing with love and her eyes would light up, EVERY SINGLE TIME SHE SAW ME. Her words close together with excitement, she became wild with language when she was excited to see someone, to tell me something, her pace was fast, her words whizzing by, always with the Jamaican affirmations at the end of the sentence.

At every stage of my life, even when I was horrible and angry and not fun to be around, there was Winnie with all love and the softest hug.

I could not respond to her that with anger or melancholy, I relaxed into her.

Her love became mine, and my hardness would melt into her.

As a kid, she made us after school snacks with sugar and chocolate and cookies and asked us about school. She always called me her daughter. She was quiet, yet present. Not distracted. Not rushed. Always available to talk.

And when I had my daughter, I could not wait to bring her home to show her off to my Winnie. And then, my heart bursted open when I saw her look and love my daughter the way she had loved me. No judgement, no expectations, no projections, just pure present moment love. The thing we all seek and crave and desire as humans. To be seen and loved, just as we are.

I listened to the stories of her sons that she was so proud of and her own grandchildren, pictures and stories, pictures and stories.

I only heard her speak kind words.

When my Grandfather got sick, she truly brought strength, courage and compassion into our home. She was honored to help take care of him, she would not let anyone else do it. I saw her be protective and she guarded him from the many, many home health aides who arrived. Now they were on her territory and she was the protective guard of our house. I remember her always saying, “ I know everything about your family, not them. They don’t know what he likes and what he doesn’t. I’ll take care of it.”

She washed him behind his ears and rubbed his feet. She fed him soup, when he could not chew, the most intimate of care giving.

I think of Winnie so much now, distance keeps us from hugging. Aging keeps us from phone calls. But she is in my heart, my blood, my daughter. This woman who radiated kindness to all, who had a beautiful light that was passed on to everyone who knew her.

Winsome Eubanks, you are a dear soul. I thank you for the gift of love.

I love you forever.

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Pleasance Shamirah

Pleasance Shamirah

Elemental Healing & Trauma Resolution, Life Design, Author, Speaker, Rising Kohenet, Creatrix, Weaver, Ancestral Healing. Grief/Death Support. Community Care