My Grandmother-- My Legacy.

So many people have been touched by her life.  She is a woman who came into this life to make a change and with God's grace she accomplished what she came to do. Almost everybody who lived near us in our ranch town knew of her. She struggled with basic survival, as a single mother to provide her children and as an activist to finally bring water to our town.  She has been such a blessing to so many and our town is what it is now because of her.  I have so many memories of her, she is my past and she is my history.
Three Generations
My grandmother reached the ranch town we grew up in 1940 but it was established in 1937.  With only about 15 people when she got there she became one of the first settlers there and life couldn't be any harder.  Life was difficult as it can possibly be without water, electricity and food was scarce and so was almost every other natural resource necessary for survival.  The amazing thing about her life is that she is 94 years old and has survived everything this life has thrown at her.  Please don't say your life or childhood was hard until you know of someone like her.  You want water to drink? Try having to dig a whole deep enough just to find a bucket of water to make it through the day.  Not just any water, dirty muddy water.  I know this, I lived through this.  A bucket of dirty muddy water you had to watch settle until we could use it was all we had, I lived that.  Rain water? We drank that. Water didn't make it to our village until 1992, I was gone many years before then but my whole childhood we didn't know what running water was. She mentions the day in September 1992, the day our ranch town got running water, as one of her happiest days of her life. "Water is a precious liquid."  She mentions the hardships she went through just to get something to drink.  This breaks my heart if not for the fact my whole childhood was like this as well but that her life was a thousand times harder.

My grandmother has endured it all and now she is the center of so much attention and love from all those she leaves behind.  She had 8 children and many grand children and great grand children.  We have all dedicated our lives to honoring and respecting her struggles.  She is loved not just by her children and grand children but by all those she delivered.  She was my town's midwife. No matter what time of the night it was, if she got the knock on the door a woman was delivering a baby, she got ready and went to help.  My mother remembers her coming home not until the next morning, exhausted from no sleep after helping bring life to another child.  She gave life and her life struggle was to preserve that same life she helped to give.  We are a very close family and we owe so much to her.  She has united us like no one else could.  We are so proud of our grandmother.

One everlasting memory and life lesson I learned from her was when I was a young girl was one day I was playing with a couple of other little girls and for no reason one girls pulled my arm and said to me "we are not going to play with her, let's go."  I immediately pulled my arms from her and I looked at her straight in the face and I said to her "No, if we all don't play together then I don't want to play at all." Little did I know my grandma had heard what had just happened and she said to me "That is right, very well said Lorena.  I'm proud of you." This may not be much but that moment has stayed with me all my life and one memory I will never forget.  It was who I was and she made me feel proud of being myself and for being fair.  I've always been proud of who I am and I will be the same person no matter what and no matter to whom.

My grandmother symbolizes hardship and how she overcame all the struggles in life.  She is my symbol of honor and respect.  She is someone that no matter what she endured in life, she was filled with life and happiness. This is what a grateful heart is like. Her laughter filled my heart with so much joy that it pains me to have to say goodbye to it.  Goodbye to a legend, goodbye to my past, goodbye to my history.  How can I say goodbye to someone who has meant so much to me?  I just can't.  I won't. Everyone's life has a beginning and an end and her life was an extraordinary one.

My grandmother passed away on the morning of Friday February 21.
It is a day that will live in my memory for the rest of my life.

Lorena Frith

Lifestyle Photographer in Houston, Texas

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