This was my Grandmother, Guellma Gevene Flowers-Smith-Stewart and she was born on October 22nd, 1905. We called her Gram sometimes and Gevene when there was a good story to tell that involved her. There were always good stories to tell that involved her.
Gram died 11 years ago and a part of all of us went with her. But a bigger and better part stuck around. I cannot turn a mattress or iron a shirt without thinking of her, nor can I laugh or gossip with my sibs without her being in the middle of it. I report to my friends that my place is "Gevene clean" and they know that I've spent the previous day scrubbing my floors and vacuuming under the sofa. She's why I have a bar of Fels-Naptha soap under my sink and why I insist on doing everything myself. She taught be to be self-reliant, to draw strength from adversity and above all to laugh. Some people just loom large and Gevene certainly did that. I've heard it said that the dead live on when the living remember them. If that's true than this lady will be around forever.
The baby in this photo was her first great-grandkid. Well, she's a grown woman now and in three weeks she's going to be married. My siblings, my parents and I will get together for my niece's wedding and celebrate. Wow. The first of my nieces and nephews, my parents' first grandkid, is getting married. We'll laugh and dance and knowing us, argue. But more than any of that, at least so far as I'm concerned, we'll do our best to make sure that the great lady who begot all of us lives for a little while longer.