My Time With You (Pt.1)

Born In the year 1900, my Great grandmother Effie Johnson will always be “Big Momma” to our family! In the images above she’s sitting out in the pasture reflecting after church and preparing dinner in the other with three of her sons. Although she stood just under 5ft and barely 120lbs most of her life, her name represented her character and the respect held for her as a role model in every aspect of her 100 years on earth. I miss her dearly. Lately, there hasn’t been a moment throughout my days when something occurs that makes me long for the ability to go back in time to have a conversations with a family member who have transitioned. The next few weeks I will be honoring my ancestors by sharing the lessons and beautiful memories of my precious time with them.

I was told stories of how when I first began to crawl, I had a habbit of scooting around Big Momma’s kitchen floor pulling all her pots and pans from the cabinets and she would discipline me by lightly tapping my thick ‘lil thighs with her huge wooden spoon. Probably the reason I’ve never used one of those wooden spoons myself. There were also stories of how she helped bring me into the world by aiding my mother during delivery. Big Momma was the mid-wife to many folks of color during her time. When we visited her for family reunions during my childhood, she and I would sit out in the pasture among the animals to snap peas or work in the garden. She’d share stories while I listened with anticipation. She never spoke much about the challenges she faced in her life, but mainly about the importance of family and how she enjoyed raising her children, being a wife and taking care of people whether they were kin or not. Once she reached the ’90’s (her golden years), she talked to me about how happy and thankful she was to have lead a fulfilling life recalling her numerous blessings over the years. I didn’t quite understand the part about a “fulfilling” life because she never ventured from the small town of Wilmar other than a few visits to the closest hospital which was 7 miles in the next county. There was no need for her to go into town to buy much as she utilized the land and nature to provide everything they needed.

My childhood was filled with fun memories of her as well as some lessons I learned the hard way. She’d always warn my younger brother’s and I not to go out there where the barn was. One year during our visit, I was about 10 years old and had to see what was inside that old barn, not realizing my youngest brother who was only 5 at the time, had follwed me. After my investigation and disappointment of not finding anything other than bunches of hay, my brother and I found ourselves being chased by that mean ol’ bull. His short legs wouldn’t allow him to gain any speed, so as I went to grab him, we escaped the dangers of the bull but unfortunately I didn’t escape the barbed wire fence during our get-a-way. My scared knee’s still bare a reminder of that day which my brother’s and I laugh about all the time. My fondess memory of times with Big Momma was being in the kitchen preparing suppa (she still used the big wooden spoon, but only for stirring now). She sang these old negro spirituals that were passed down to my mother who Big Momma helped raise and have always stayed with me which I’ve shared with my children and grandchildren while preparing meals during the holidays. My favorite is called “Great Change in Me”, here’s a snippet!

There is a great change in me, great change in me. I am so happy and I am so free. Since Jesus brought me out of the darkness, into this marvelous light and oh oh oh there’s a great change in me”!

I learned that these songs were Big Momma’s way of lifting not only her spirits, but also the family in times of struggle. She had spent her life as a faithful servant to the Lord and knew His devine power. This was her way of letting us know that God is always with us. I love you Big Momma! I am thankful for the time I spent with you and I pray I make you proud, for I now know that all your sacrifice and the struggles you’ve endured were so that I could be here today and continue moving forward!

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a β€œG-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

75 thoughts on “My Time With You (Pt.1)

  1. So heart touching story you and grandma’s lovely affection πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸŒΉπŸ™πŸΌ
    My grandma also when we small so much advices, sleeping
    Time story tell, cannot forget that days πŸ‘β™₯️ now we also the same
    Love giving our grandchildren πŸ™πŸΌπŸŒΉ you so lovely and grace wishesπŸ™πŸΌπŸŒΉβ™₯️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You dear , this is so admiring that great grand maa with you small time and you
        Already got all the Blessings , so awesome and rare children only can get luck
        Like you dear πŸ‘πŸŒΉπŸ™πŸΌ ❀️ Grace wishes you and your lovely family πŸ‘ God Bless πŸ™πŸΌ

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful tribute and memorial for your Big Momma Tammy. πŸ€— I think we all had one in our family and can recall some poignant memories from being around them. Songs were a thing of cultural traditions, because songs like the ones your Big Momma sung were empowering and encouraging them/us to forge ahead with whatever task that lay before them. Oh what amazing, divine lessons of perseverance, hope, joy, love, and a peace that surpasses all understanding.

    Thanks for sharing your cherished memories QT! What a warm and cozy read for this morning. β˜•Have a FANtabulous day my friend. πŸŒžπŸ’–πŸŒŸ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why I always want to reach out and hug you Kym nor can I hold back the tears when I read your comments. You express perfectly what it is I try to convey, but it’s such a struggle for me now. I truly appreciate you! Enjoy your day and the week ahead Queen.

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      1. Oh girlfriend, you brought back some heart-stopping moments when I read your post. I can truly connect and we share (albeit a different time) very significant and life-learning memories. πŸ™πŸΌ I wouldn’t trade those days for anything in the world. Sending cyber hugs to you my dear friend! πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€— I appreciate you girl. πŸ’– Keep forging ahead, just as your Big Momma did! πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈ She’s lives within you. Carry on! πŸ‘ΈπŸ½πŸ‘‘πŸ’ƒπŸ½

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You go, girl! πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈ You’re going to do a wonderful job Tammy! Stay focused and courageous. πŸ’ͺ🏽 While chartering on new territory, think about the unlimited opportunities this new journey can unfold! Whenever you feel challenged, ask yourself this question, “WWBMD”? (What Would Big Momma Do?) πŸ•΅πŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ€”πŸ‘΅πŸ½

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  3. What a lovely tribute to your Big Momma. I can almost smell the food and hear the songs she creates through your loving recollections. And what a nice long life she’s lived and the timing is just amazing – got to witness the start of two new centuries! πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Bless you and what a strong and soulful moving tribute, I spent time with my great grandmother on my mother’s side of the family and she had stories and strength that still blow my mind til this day, peace and respect to you always

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for sharing some of your history!

    I think it’s wonderful that songs were used as a source of strength and comfort during difficult times.

    The power of music when combined with faith is truly amazing.

    I hope that as I progress and journey through my life there will always be the opportunity for “a great change in me”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amen. β€œThere is a great change in me, great change in me. I am so happy and I am so free. Since Jesus brought me out of the darkness, into this marvelous light and oh oh oh there’s a great change in me”! Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories–days I truly miss. Have a wonderful day/night and remain safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A beautiful tribute to an incredible woman β™‘ One part that really stood out to me is how she had a fulfilling life even though she rarely left the small town of Wilmar, because she could live off the land instead of having to always go to the store. And besides that, her priority was her family, that’s what nurtured her soul. Goals!!!

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  8. Your memories honoring your great grandmother were clear enough for us eavesdroppers to see the heart she had for Jesus and the joy she found in living a life of gratitude. These posts sharing your memories of your family are a grand reminder of the value God has bestowed on all His children. Your writing is obviously from the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that means so much. Thank you. My post “The Blind Beautiful Faith of a Child” tells about my fist lesson on how to pray & have faith. It is through my children that He reached me & I’m so thankful to finally know Him. Now I also understand my great grandmother much better.πŸ’Ÿ

      Liked by 1 person

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