Volume 73: 1718 Craven Street

Posted on 04/30/2013


My grandmother and my cousin Marlo.

My grandmother and my cousin Marlo.

Hello to you all. I know it’s been a while since I have posted, and for that, I apologize. It’s for a myriad of reasons why I haven’t posted; but there’s only one reason why I’m posting now. I need to clear my head and this is the forum that allows me to do just that. You see, on Friday, April 26, 2013 my maternal grandmother passed away. She was the last of my four grandparents to pass, and was the one that quietly played a more significant role than any of the others in my life as a child.

We learn a lot from our grandparents. Most importantly, we learn unconditional love. I am reminded of it when I see my mother and in-laws interact with my kids. I always chuckle when I remember that line from the Cosby Show when Bill says, “That’s not the woman I grew up with. That’s just an old person trying to get into heaven now.” My grandmother’s life was not easy by any stretch of the imagination. And, if I’m being completely honest, I contributed greatly to some of the difficulties she faced. At the same time, I can count on one hand the number of times I saw her angry, or upset, or cry. Her strength and determination was the foundation upon which my family memories were built. The news of her death hasn’t quite hit me yet. I mean, going to your grandmother’s house was what you did during the holidays. It was what my sisters and I did during the summers. It was what we did during football season. It was what we did on random weekends my mother was feeling homesick. 1718 Craven Street was our home away from home. It was the second address that I committed to memory. It was the address of a woman who I will never forget.

Now, the “I wishes” have come crashing upon me like high tide on a deserted coastline.

  • I wish I would have taken the time to step out of myself and learn more about her.
  • I wish I would have gone to see her when she went to the nursing home.
  • I wish her life could have been easier.
  • I wish I would’ve told her how much she influenced me.
  • I wish she could see my children grow.
  • I wish I could tell her I love her one more time.

Instead, the time for “I wish” is gone. She has moved on to a better place.

Grandparents are God’s gift to children. As previously mentioned, I spent my childhood summers with my sisters and cousins making up songs, exploring neighborhoods, going to the movies, church and amusement parks – all with my grandmother at the wheel of the car. She was a steady force in my life and now she’s gone home. The Bible says in Genesis 3, “For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” The obedient Christian in me says that I should follow the word as it is written – that death is the inevitable end of life. However, the grandson in me is missing the moments, and the memories, and the life, and the love of my grandmother. There were many moments during my childhood that made it hard for me to recognize and accept when I was being loved. There was one notable exception. There was always love at 1718 Craven Street, and that is the memory that I cherish the most.

Thank you, Mrs. Margaret Miller Roache, for your life and your love!

That’s just my three cents….


“Peep my ver-na-curlar cuz I don’t know how to act…”