Many of you have been wondering where I’ve been and why I have not blogged lately. Well unfortunately, both Apollo and I recently lost our maternal grandmothers. In early November my grandmother became ill and I chose to direct all of my energy and focused on caring for her and supporting my mother. Unfortunately, on November 25 my dear grandmother passed away. I immediately sprang into funeral mode preparing for her memorial service and burial. I wanted to make sure her home going service was reminiscent of her spirit: elegant, joyous, and unforgettable! As we were returning home from my grandmother's obsequies, we learned that Apollo's grandmother passed away. So, we have been very busy caring for our families and managing the tender moments of loss and grief.
Grief is never easy but I am comforted in the knowledge that God “...will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness.” Isaiah 61:3. My grandmother was my inspiration and graced the Earth for 95 years – what a blessing! She was vibrant, courageous, and very outspoken. I am proud to have known her. It was her example and life that gave me the courage to always strive for excellence. She left a legacy of service and higher education; teaching in the public school system for over 60 years and earning two college degrees. She made graduating from the University of Georgia a family tradition that now spawns four generations. She grew up in an era where opportunities were limited for women, especially women of color; yet she was never deterred. She fought for equality in college admissions, as well as accessibility of learning resources for all children.
It was a summer tradition for my brothers and me to visit our grandparents for two months. My grandmamma would have us help with the garden and read the dictionary during the morning. In the still of the night, I still hear her constant encouragement, "Phaedra, with education you can go anywhere and be anything." When I close my eyes I can still feel the summer breeze and smell her wonderful gingerbread with lemon sauce. She was the best, she taught me how to farm, sew, can vegetables, make jam, but most of all how to treat people and conduct myself. She was the original Southern Belle; never missing a Sunday at church and never seen without her signature matching hat, gloves and purse. The holidays will never be the same, but I know heaven has two new fiery angels and I will see them both again.
I want to thank and acknowledge my Bravo and True Entertainment family, especially Kandi, NeNe, Cynthia and her lovely mother and daughter Noelle for their kind deeds and comforting words during our time of bereavement. I also want to thank all my fans and friends who supported me during this time. It is during times like these when we realize the true meaning of friendship. My family and I are eternally grateful. While grandmothers hold your hands for only a short while, they live in your hearts forever. This blog is dedicated to the loving memory of Mrs. Hazel Meadows, Ms. Gail McDaniel, and all grieving families in Newtown, Connecticut. May God give you peace and joy during this holiday season. Happy holidays!