Fannie Louella JACKSON BARWICKInteresting that as I began to pen my memories of Fannie Louella JACKSON BARWICK {1920 – 1992}, my beloved Maternal Grandmother, Stevie Wonder’s rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water began to play.

My Lord, without a doubt there is no single person who had a greater impact on my life than Anbownes. There is no person’s absence, that I miss more.

She was a firm, honest, no-nonsense straight-shooter. She was everything you dislike as a child and everything you come to respect and admire as an adult.

She was the personification of honor. People spoke [and speak] of her with reverence.

My Grandmother was regal in appearance, always impeccably dressed, with the most beautiful, pecan hued hands and fingernails I’ve ever seen. There are moments when I seem to catch a hint of her gardenia scent. There are MANY days when I miss the sound of her deep, husky voice singed from many years of smoking.

Her love and loyalty were the rock we all –especially my Mom– held on to and truth be told, Mom started leaving us the day Anbownes transitioned.

I know now, what I didn’t quite understand then… watching a good Mother leave you is the hardest life challenge any child will face. It is impossible to sustain this kind of separation (not loss) and not be permanently changed.

By example, Anbownes and Mom taught a scared (and clueless) child how to Mother her Son. And though hurt by my circumstance, she never faltered in support. Because she stood by me, I am the woman I am today.

Once during her daily bath, she told me that if she were a millionaire, she could not have had better care. Those words comfort me now. I know without a doubt, she knew that I loved her.

I was with Anbownes to the very end, standing beside her when she transitioned. And when she “went home”, I began a new journey — across a bridge — to become a me that I could be proud of; a me that was more like her.

When you’re weary
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

In honor of Fannie Louella Jackson Barwick, Anbownes, my bridge over troubled water — both then and now.

I love you.

Luckie.

P.S. Bownes, how am I doin’?!:-)

[Image source: Fannie Jackson Barwick age 18 yrs old ~ 1938; Wife of William C. Barwick]