Mrs. Inka and Me

" I was about twelve years old.  " One day I met an old lady her name was Mrs. Inka. She wasn't like the other old people I've met.  She was different, very different.  Every time I saw her, there was something about her that touched my hart.

Each time we saw each other, she always had something to say.  I didn't understand what she was saying most of the time.  She spoke seldom, and in soft short bursts, but when she took her time to speak, everything was clear.  Mother said she had that old folks sickness, called Alzheimer's disease.  She said it makes you forget things, and some times family also.

At first I didn't know what that word meant.  What she said made me think a while. After I thought about it, the only thing that really mattered was that Mrs. Inka and I were friends.  I would like to know more about this disease that was making my friend ill.  But for now, I'm happy, just knowing that she remembers us.

In those days, white people didn't like black people talking, or playing together. They thought we were not good enough, because of the color of our skin. Yet, my views were different.

When I went to school, black children and white children, went to school together. They separated us from each other in the classroom.  They sat in the front of the class; we sat in the back, even on the school bus.  "But when you think about it, we're still in the same place together.

It didn't make me a bit of difference, I was just happy going to school.  I feel we've come a long way, from where our fore fathers were.  I looked upon this as a challenge.  Like mom always told me, "What do you do with any challenge?  Try until you succeed.  " That's just what I intend to do."  

I liked Mrs. Inka, to me, " She was a very beautiful but odd old woman."   She taught me to like people for who they are.  We use to sit in the fields and talk for hours.  She would hold my hands and tell me to close my eyes.  I replied, "now what", than she said,  " If there were two young boys, one black and one white, here right now, just by touching their hands, could you tell which one is white?"  The point is, in the dark or with out skin we are all the same, we're all Gods children.  I understood what she was saying, and I liked it.

Mrs. Inka made me feel special.  With us it was never a black or white thing, she was a very freehearted person.  She would walk outside with no shoes on.  She jumped rope with me and the other children.  She played hopscotch with us.  She use to read to me, although the grown ups said she didn't know how to read anymore.

I came from school one day, feeling down and a little depressed.  As I raised my head, there she was.  "Mrs. Inka," I shouted, as I ran to join her in her daily walk to the pond.  That's where we use go to feel the cool water on our feet.  Sometimes we would put on our bathing suits and sit in the pond, when the weather was hot.

Mrs. Inka asked me, why wasn't I smiling?  She knew I was a person who smiles, even when it rained on a gloomy day.  I responded to Mrs. Inka,  " I cannot read very well, and I failed my spelling test."  Mother said if my grades doesn't pick up, that she’d forbid me from riding my bike and playing outside until I do better.

I put my head in her lap and began to cry.  Mrs. Inka lifted my head and dried my eyes.  She said to me in a sweet voice,  " There, there my dear, no need to waste unnecessary tears.  With education there's always room for improvement.  I'll help you, but first, you must want to help yourself."

I looked at her and said, I really do, I really want to learn.  From then on, we were like Siamese twins, when you see one you see the other.  I asked her, why didn't she have any children?  That's when she told me about her husband and how he died.

  She said they were expecting a child, but there were complications, and she lost the baby a few weeks after her husband passed away.  She couldn't accept the fact that he was gone, because she had no other family, and when she lost the baby, she didn't feel she had anything left. She pulled away from her friends, because she wanted to be alone.  The disease didn't have anything to do with it.  She just needed a little space, to make peace in her mind.

She said, she always enjoyed talking and being with children, because she never had any of her own.  That's why she spent so much time with them.  I invited Mrs. Inka to my house for dinner.  Mrs. Inka and my mom got along well.  She visited both my mother and I every other day.

My grades started going up and I became a beautiful reader.  I am now one of the top readers in my class.  I want to be a writer when I grow up.  Thanks to Mrs. Inka, "I not only respect people and family, I respect all aspects of education also."

    Thank you Mrs. Inka, for being a friend.

     Dedicated to my four children:

     Valshanee L. Brown, Shyniece A. Brown, Dianne A. Brown, Devin J. M. Brown

      And all the little children all over the world, may God bless you.

         Written By: Ebony Blessings

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