GRANNY AKA FRANCES JOSEPH

Granny 8She is called Granny by everyone. She is known to make the best pelau you would ever taste. Frances Joseph is by far the most multidimensional person I have had the pleasure to know. Granny is a true Caribbean woman. She is a native of Grenada; her deceased husband was Antiguan, and they met and married in Trinidad.

At ninety-three, she considers it a privilege to have seen her nine children grow into respectable adults. One son and one daughter are deceased. She often proudly recites the names of her seventeen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.

At any given time, any member of her family can rattle off a list of her saying:
“Friends carry you but they don’t bring you back.”
“Time waits on no man.”
“Don’t leave for tomorrow what you could do today.”
And if she cannot find something, you better believe its Satan’s fault lol.

Aside from being known for her tasty dishes, Granny is also an energetic story-teller. She will tell the same stories a hundred times, but the weird thing is that you always want to hear them again. One of my favorite stories is – When she was a girl a man put question to her (flirted). She put him in his place (rebuked him). He retaliated by telling her father that he saw her talking to a boy. In those days that warrant a beating for poor Granny. Granny was patient. She crept out of her house at midnight, and hid in the adjacent cemetery. She knew that the man would pass there to get home. With the precision of a ninja, Granny pelt (struck) him with a big stone (rock), and caught him in his head. The man saw her. He came to her house and told her father what she had done. When her father checked on her, she was in her bed, faking a deep sleep.

Granny never lost her spunky nature. To this day, she is known for her quick wit. I often compare her to Sophia Petrillo from the 80’s sitcom The Golden Girls. My grandmother is a blend of many temperaments. She is a very compassionate lady. She has taken care of three children other than her own, and has helped several people as long as I can remember.

In her better years, her grandchildren could expect a sponge cake on their birthdays. She taught me how to make sponge cake, black cake, curry crab and pelau. I remember her warning when she passed on the pelau recipe. “If you burn your pelau you would embarrass me, because my pelau don’t burn.” I think I have done her justice, but my food would never be as good as hers.

Curry Crab

Curry Crab

Making Cakes At Christmas Time

Making Cakes At Christmas Time

Black Cake

Black Cake

Of all her adventures, the strangest thing she has done was substitute for a priest. When granny was a girl, Catholic priests did not go to the cemeteries after funerals. On occasion, little Frances Joseph would commit the dead to the ground. It’s an odd thing for a child to do. However, to have lived next to a cemetery, must have eluded any anxiety a regular person might have of dead people.

Granny is a comedian, and an honorary musketeer (my sister, cousin and I). Everything is more fun when she is involved. It’s odd to us when grown children don’t like to spend time with their grandparents. Most of us are adults, and we would use any opportunity to stay at her house. We like to stay up at night, bundle into one room, and listen to her tell stories of her youth. She grew up around some eccentric people, and she was a cook by trade. By far our favorite story is the story of her first boyfriend, the Norwegian soldier. That is an epic love story waiting to be penned.

There is so much I could say about Frances Joseph. My words will never do her justice. She is someone you have to meet in person.

While writing my novel, I found that it needed a character that was wise. The character also needed to know how to love and support. I immediately thought of Granny. That is what she has done for me, from the time I came into her family at seven years old.

I have been told many nice things in my life, all of which I appreciate. The best compliment I ever got was from Granny AKA Frances Joseph. She told me that I didn’t come from her, but God sent me to her.

This article is a tribute to her life and the example she has set for me as well as many other people. She represents a life well lived, and a respectable woman who has earned her credits.

Love you granny.

15 Comments

  1. Brichelle Winter says:

    She is a Phenomenal woman, who have molded us all into being productive people. Her stern ways was not because she did not love you, but because she wanted the best for all her children and grandchildren alike. I had the pleasure of being raised by Granny and wished that my children could have had the same upbringing as myself. To my cousin I wish you all the success.

    Like

  2. Nygeva says:

    She is an extraordinary woman, and the number of people whose lives have been touched by her is even more remarkable. I’m lucky to call her Granny Frances and friend…where would I be had she not stepped into the role of raising me. Great tribute!!!!!!

    Like

  3. giselle says:

    Ok am compel to comment, grannies are a special kind of people. They are god’s best creation. Give all me love to granny and all the special grannies

    Like

    • I think no one follows every guideline/rule their parents/grandparent set for them. The key is to retain them. Many children go off course and sometimes get into trouble, but good upbringing will always prevail. Somewhere along the line you would remember what they told you, and realize that they were right. The sad thing is sometimes shame keeps us from ‘pulling up our socks’ as my granny would say.

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  4. Nicholas Joseph says:

    How come u never tell me your grandmother last name is Joseph??

    Love your grandmother though. You should do a biography of her life 😀

    Like

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