My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. — Hosea 4:6
This is a five-part article taken from an online publication written by me back in 2003. Since its publication, this article has made its way around the world. It is posted in Africa, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, Europe and Asia, translated into different languages.
Last time this series was published, many people anxiously awaited the next issue. It is story of the life and suffering of my mother in order to help somebody, so her living would not be in vain. This week, the Lord told me to share this article with my readers again. Those of you who have read this column faithfully will be able to witness the devastation faced by me and my family, as my mother suffered for 12 years with diabetes and all of the other implications it brings to the human body.
Here is my story:
It is my pleasure to run, for the second time, my own diabetes prevention, education and public relations campaign established under the name Fannie Estelle Hill Grant, started after the loss of my mother, who succumbed to Type 2 diabetes on Christmas Day in 2000.
I noticed a fire burning in the diabetes health arena, in the African-American community in particular, and it is still burning out of control, hopefully, this campaign will stop “Fanning the Flames” and put out the fire.
Mother was 73 years old, a wife and mother of nine, a homemaker, who loved her family very much, and she believed in preparing wonderful home-cooked meals for the family, desserts any day of the week. Mama enjoyed cooking, cleaning and washing clothes, and although she raised nine children of her own, she always had room for other needy children.
In our early years, the 1960s, Mother was the wife of our sharecropper father in North Carolina, but they moved the family to Washington, D.C., in 1965. For more than 30 years, the Washington metropolitan area was home.
The family learned of Mother’s Type 2 diabetes after a major stroke she had in 1989. She lived only 12 years after the diagnosis. Lyndia and her sisters, (The Grant Sisters) pledged to begin the educational prevention campaign while they visited with and/or cared for their mother during her last year of life.
Mother and father moved back to North Carolina, where she enjoyed her later years in a very peaceful way. We purchased her a new home, took over the entire mortgage payments, and she was happy. Mother Grant enjoyed living on the 226-acre farm, near Kinston; she was one of the heirs to farm left to her family by their father, and my grandfather, Floyd Hill. She enjoyed walking around the farm, following my father as he worked.
Mother suffered many additional strokes; during one of them, she lost the use of her tongue and couldn’t speak. Her kidneys failed, she had kidney dialysis for the last two years of her life, she had high blood pressure for many years, and both of her legs were amputated above her knees.
We wanted to know more about the disease that took our mother in such a brutal fashion. There was so much pain and suffering prior to her death. Mother Grant was a Christian, she was an evangelist who preached the gospel in churches throughout the D.C. area, and everyone loved her and called her Ma.
As her oldest daughter, I promised to educate millions of people regarding the causes and prevention of Type 2 diabetes. In sharing with the general public, I feel a lot better now, because my mother’s living shall not be in vain. Read part two of this five-part series, “The Problem,” next week.
Lyndia Grant is the host of “Think on These Things,” a radio talk show on WYCB (1340 AM), Fridays at 6 p.m. Contact her via email at email@example.com.