This afternoon, I took Edwina to Walmart to get Easter baskets for Aubrey (of the pink icing) and Alexis, the”baby” who as it turns out is Edwina’s son’s step-sister’s daughter. No matter how much time I spend around Edwina, I’m always floored by the sudden appearance of new relatives that I didn’t have a clue existed and never-mentioned crucial events from Edwina’s past and present.
Edwina took her time browsing through the baskets, both those already prepared with candy and balls and princess paraphernalia and the DIY options, finally selecting one basket fit for an aspiring soccer player and one fit for a little girl drawn to butterflies and bows. Next, Edwina headed to the kids’ clothing section to pick up two short sets, one for each.
All the way back, Edwina talked non-stop about Aubrey, in particular. For the past few weeks, Aubrey has been in Mississippi staying with her grandma and Edwina has missed her terribly. According to Edwina, Aubrey’s mom hasn’t had much interest in raising the child so she shipped her off to her gramma. For the next little while, at least, Aubrey will stay in Edwina’s apartment with her and Edwina will have the opportunity to walk her (or ride along beside her) to school each morning and home in the afternoon. She’ll also have the pleasure of “fixin’ her hair” and “dressing her up real pretty”–the kinds of caregiving that Edwina missed out on growing up.
After we’d talked a bit about how happy she is to have Aubrey back in B’ham, Edwina figured she’d better throw in a little something to protect herself. Copping an “I don’t put up with no #//o#–” attitude, she began telling me about a conversation she and Aubrey had had just that morning.
“She come right up and said ‘You talkin’ to the Easter bunny for me, ain’t you, Auntie?'”
“And I just told her ‘I ain’t talkin to nobody–y’all don’t need nuthin.'” Edwina shook her head a bit to prove that she wasn’t going to listen to anybody assuming that she was going to be the go-to person, not even a five-year-old.
“You know what she say next to me, Miss Rayan?” Edwina asked, turning her head my way from the passenger side.
“She says, ‘You got to make sure I get somethin in my basket.’ And I just told her, ‘Only thing I got’s to do is stay Black and die.'”
“What did you just say?!” I piped back.
“I told her the truth, Miss Rayan. Ain’t got to do nuthin but stay Black and die. The rest ain’t for sure.”
I guess I’ve never looked at life quite like that before, but she’s kind of right. All we’ve got to do is be who we were born to be until the good Lord says we’re done.