I believe people come into our lives for a reason, season or a lifetime. My grandparents were my lifetime for 48 years of my life and as long as I have known myself. It's been hard losing them 7 months apart from each other. Grannie (Rev. Amelia B. Cummings-Stryker), you left on January 9, 2021 and then Grandaddy (Retired Brigadier General Jehu T. Stryker Sr. and Former Marshal of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia) followed after with his journey on August 14, 2021. They were blessed to have been married for 68 years. They fed me from an infant, nurtured me, disciplined me, loved me, wiped my tears when I cried, encouraged me to crawl and walk. They helped me with homework and taught me skills to be a good mother. Yes, they were my grandparents but also had roles as parents too, raising me from the time I was born in Monrovia, Liberia since their daughter (my mother) had me at 18 years old in her last year of High School.
Both Grannie and Grandad taught me how to cook. They attended every graduation I had in my life from nursery to Doctorate. They attended my military Officers Basic Training graduation in San Antonio, TX. My grandfather being a Retired Brigadier General of the Liberian Armed Forces was indeed proud of me being a young U.S. Army Lieutenant. They introduced me to God as a child and taught me to pray. They were my role models, mentors, teachers, greatest supporters and encouragers. They never shy away to correct me either when I needed it but I knew it was all done in love. They taught me to be independent. Grannie always said Angel let God be your guide and I appreciate this more than you can imagine now in my life when dealing with the storms of life. Grandaddy would say, "Ma, come get your lunch money when he was on his way to work in the morning in Liberia as a child. As I grew older and the roles reversed I always said to them "here is your lunch money and allowance" and they would smile and say "God bless you Ma"
I want to say thank you Grannie and Grandad. Life will be hard going on but you gave me the skills and the tools to go on watching and modeling your work ethics, dedication, perseverance and unconditional love for me, my children and one another. I got to see the true exemplified meaning of healthy marriage with forgiveness in the middle through your challenges because you had the desire to stick it out. I learned my business skills early from both of you running businesses in Liberia and Grannie being a strong Black female business owner. Both of you had a funny sense of humor. I know both of you are doing so much better where you are now with no sickness and stressors in Heaven. God has said welcome home my good and faithful servants and job well done. Now you have taken your place with eternal life and I am blessed to have my special Angels on each shoulder continuing to guide me in the spiritual and physical worlds.
I was blessed to have my grandparents live with me when I was younger from 2000 to 2008. Sharing some of my favorite moments at my Doctorate graduation in 2015 and commissioning as a U.S. Army Second Lieutenant pinning in 1999. Sharing another picture when I took them shopping at the military base and they ran me over with the electric chair in 2019. Lol. Pictures are good because they are lasting memories that no one can take from us and they help us through the healing process. They give you peace in mourning and during the storms of life. I love both of you forever. May your souls rest in peace and thank you so much for all that you have done for my children and I. Again, I am the woman, mother and provider that I am because the both of you planted seeds in me and nurtured it so I blossomed into who I am today. See you in the next life when we meet again Grannie and Grandad.