Nanny B’s Collard Greens

Collard greens in pan

Anna Larle Valentine/Flickr

I had a foster mother on Rhode Island Avenue. Another time I had a foster grandmother and I want to tell you about her.

Just yesterday, my case manager told me that my foster grandmother, Nanny B, had passed away. Nanny B loved to play with my hair and she fed me very well. I loved the chitlins and the collard greens that she cooked for me.

To this day, I still love collard greens.

I was nine when I moved in with Nanny B. Right from the start, she tucked me in at night. She told me she hoped I had a good future one day.

Nanny B was big and light-skinned. She was something like me: quiet and serious. Sometimes we laughed together at toys and balloons. I loved balloons and she kept the basement full of colorful balloons and beach balls. I would throw the balloons up in the air and rub them on my face. I still like to do that.

I went to Nanny B because my mother was hit by a Safeway truck and died when I was nine. I never knew my father. I was too young to think about where he was, so I never asked my mother.

Nanny B knew my mother and took me to her funeral. I was also too young to understand that I would never see my mom again. I didn’t cry, but when I got older I felt the loss. I got over that a long time ago.

I am 58 now and I have a brother who is 62. He lived somewhere else when we were growing up. I met him for the first time when I was 18. I was happy to meet him. He bought me a bicycle for my eighteenth birthday. I haven’t seen him since then, but it turns out that him and I have the same case manager. She gave me his phone number recently and I hope to talk with him and meet up one day soon.

Issues |Death|Family

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