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, about the life and suffering of my mother in order to help somebody, so her living would not be in vain. 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; it is translated into different languages and it appears all across America.
Last time this series was published, many people anxiously awaited the next issue. This week, the Lord told me to share this article with my readers again. Those of you who have read this column faithfully will remember the devastation faced by me and my family, as my mother suffered for 12 years with diabetes and its effects on the human body.
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. Here is my story:
My own education and public relations campaign for diabetes prevention, 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.
Mother was 73 years old, a wife, mother of nine and homemaker who loved her family very much, and she believed in preparing wonderful home-cooked meals for the family — with desserts — on any day of the week. Mama enjoyed cooking, cleaning and washing clothes, and although she had nine children of her own, she always made room for other needy children.
During our early years in the 1960s, Mother was the wife of our sharecropper father in North Carolina, but they moved the family in 1965 to Washington, D.C., which was our home for more than 30 years.
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. I and and my sisters pledged to begin the educational prevention campaign while we visited with and 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, of which she was one of the heirs. 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, and she needed 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 and caused so much pain and suffering prior to her death. Mother Grant was a Christian, 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 preventions 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, “The Problem,” next week.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.