About the Author

Tonya Ingram is a poet, Cincinnati native, Bronx-bred introvert, mental health advocate, kidney transplant hopeful, Lupus legend, cat auntie, and lover of Tom Hardy and The Office. Tonya currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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  1. My grandmothers (I was fortunate enough to have 2 until well into my 30’s still have one alive now) taught me so much. From trusting myself in the kitchen to paying attention to peoples actions instead of their words. Most importantly they taught me to be open and welcoming something that has served me well in life.

  2. I talked with my grandmother (known as Ma Ma) everyday until she passed. During the work week, I would take a break from work, walk out the front door of the office and hit my grandmother’s number on speed dial. Every work day at the same time she would pick up and we would laugh about something, while I walked around the parking lot. My grandmother was a comedian at heart. She would say or do something to make you laugh every time you communicated with her. My time with my grandmother was so special. When she passed I learned that my sibling and most of my cousins had the same experience. She made each one of us feel special. Even thinking about her now puts a big smile on my face. My goal in life is to leave a lasting smile of the face of others when they think about me like Bessie Louise George Clark or Louise Bessie George Clark, she didn’t remember which name was first or middle (or was that another one of her jokes); affectionately known to all who met her as Ma Ma.

  3. My grandmother taught me to have patience and recognize that God has a plan for each of us. I was very young when my aunt was admitted to a mental institution. She had become violent and caused our family a lot of problems. My grandmother was a very patient person. No matter what my aunt did, my grandmother always told her that she was loved. Unfortunately, when my aunt was ready to leave the hospital, my uncle, her husband, refused to sign her out. The only way they would release her, was if her mother, my grandmother signed for her. She did and I will always be grateful for the way my grandmother showed love and compassion for my aunt. We all go through difficult times, but we need to show love, kindness and respect for others, relatives or not. I thank God that I had a loving grandmother. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. I enjoyed the story about the grandma. I can relate to counting horses on the roads too when I was a little girl. What my grandma passed down to me was to be clean, clean and clean. She said no matter what you “got ” make sure it’s clean. To keep your body clean and always Wash your hands. I love that woman. Rest in peace grandma.

  5. My grandmother raised me from a teenager to woman hood. SHE emphasized that I “Be a mother to my children”. Also that”education was the key”.She was SOOO serious about that statement that she would use the analogy”they would have to burn the school house down before they got me out of there”!!! She was born in 1906(segregated)schools along with many,many,many other injustices.

  6. My grandmother left me with a sense of special moments. My birthday was in January two weeks after Christmas. Often I was with her because both of my parents worked and I stayed with her for the week and went home with my parents for the weekend. When my birthday came and I was with my grandmother she would ask me what special thing did I want to do for my birthday and did I remember that I was born at 5:47 in the morning. For some reason I said “ice cream” and she said okay and we ate ice cream before we ate our breakfast. For the remainder of my life, we always ate ice cream on my birthday at 5:47 in the morning. She never forgot and no matter where I was I knew that the phone would ring and my grandmother would have her bowl of ice cream and we would talk and laugh together. She taught me that special moments can last a lifetime.

  7. Such a lovely story, and thank you for sharing. I just wrote four lessons my late grandmother taught me. One of the most amazing memories of her is the way she unified a room just by her presence.