I remember writing hero papers in elementary school. One hero paper I wrote about my mother was published in a book. I was thrilled to have everyone read how amazing my mother is. My mother is who she is today because her mother taught her how to love, as well as the value of hard work. My childhood hero is my maternal grandmother, Mary Alice Hooks.
My grandmother was born August 24, 1933. She is the only child, and her upbringing was drastically different than mine. I love to hear her compare her childhood to ours. She possesses so much gratitude for everything she has. My grandmother is so grateful for the simple things in life that I sometimes take for granted. She is tough as nails, but she had no choice if she wanted to survive.
She can cook anything asked of her. I always have to make sure it is chicken or other meats I like, because she enjoys rabbits and other animals. My grandmother is the mother of six children, and she raised them all by herself. The children’s fathers were not in their lives. Grandmother only had help from her mother.
Ultimately, Grandmother had to provide food and shelter for them. She picked cotton and cleaned houses. Grandmother was a babysitter to other children when she did not have her own. She did not have a car, so she never learned how to drive. My grandmother washed clothes outside and had to use the restroom in an outhouse.
She had a rough life, but she persevered. Grandmother did not let others opinions of her stop her from pressing forward. She believes in helping others with the little she has. There are no words to describe how much I love my grandmother. I have included a picture of her to provide a visual. Everyone says we look alike. Do you agree? I think so, too.
My grandmother is also a very compassionate person. It is hard to tell her tragic news because she takes everything to heart.
I know God is not done with her yet because she has had at least four heart attacks, two strokes, and ovarian cancer. She takes about 17 pills a day and two injections to manage her sicknesses. Grandmother is “Ford tough” and very active despite her setbacks. She loves her yard and gardening and will yell at you if you drive through the grass or step on a flower.
Since Grandmother cannot push a lawn mower, and is very stubborn at times, she trims her grass with scissors. Yes, scissors. She loves to do things at her own pace. My father cuts her grass and always tells her she should not be doing that. It is nearly impossible to convince her there is a better way.
My grandmother is a second mother to me. When she had surgery to get her pacemaker, my sister and I moved in with her. Grandmother needed us to be there to cook for her and help her move around. It was very hard to watch my grandmother in so much pain. She is a warrior, so she persevered. My grandmother has never given me any bad advice. Although she did not attend college, she encourages me to achieve the pinnacle of education.
She has instilled the value of hard work and perseverance within me. Grandmother always encourages abstinence because she feels a baby would hinder me. She never liked the guys I dated, and in retrospect, I see exactly why. Even when I went against Grandmother’s advice, she was always there with her arms open wide. She told me everything would be fine and it was.
I am forever grateful for Mary Alice Hooks. Her wish was to see all of her grandchildren graduate. God willing, my grandmother will see me walk across the stage at Humphrey Coliseum, May 17th, 2014, at 10:00AM. I pray she lives to see me become successful, marry, and start a family. It is my sincere hope that I have made my grandmother proud, because she was my childhood hero and still is my hero today.