waiting on the next thing smoking

“Her legacy will be cherished by her five daughters, two sons, twenty-one grandchildren, twenty-four great-grandchildren, three nieces and a host of great-nieces, nephews, relatives and friends,” was part of the commentary on the life of a Black woman whose celebration of life took place on April 21, 2012 in the city of Simonton, Texas, which is located within the Houston metropolitan area.

Willie Flora wasn’t a famous public figure like Maya Angelou, not a political icon of the Civil Rights movement like Rosa Parks, not a household name like Shirley Chisholm – and yet her influence has been felt in the lives of ordinary people who were touched by her generosity of spirit, her keen sense of humor, and her loving care for those who needed help in any form. She has earned her place in Black History Month to many. Her niece Verna wrote a moving tribute to her Aunt Ninnie for the Celebration Program in 2012.

Aunt Ninnie was called many names, Skin, Cat Momma, Girlie, Aunt, Cousin, Sister, Road dog, Mother, but most of all she was called Mom. She was the type of person that, whatever you needed, no matter what it was, you had it. Now I guess you are wondering, “Why Road dog?” You see, my Auntie was my best friend. I remember when I was staying in Houston, I would call my Auntie every day and ask her what she was doing, and she would say,”Sitting on the side of the bed waiting on the next thing smoking.” We didn’t talk very much; we just enjoyed each other’s company. Man! We all loved her cooking! We couldn’t wait til Sunday, because that’s when we all met after church, and what a time we had! Auntie had something that everyone liked, because she wanted to make everyone happy. That’s the kind of person she was. Our loved one was no stranger to anyone. She was always there with a helping hand. I could go on and on about Mrs. Willie Flora. So Auntie, I’m waiting on the next thing smoking. See you on the other side. Rest in Peace, Love, Verna

Willie was in my life from the summer I graduated from college in 1967 until her passing in 2012. As Verna said in her tribute above, she was always there with a helping hand to everyone including me and my entire family.

I loved Willie Flora. I miss her to this day and am waiting with her and Verna on the next thing smoking. See you on the other side, Willie. Rest in Peace, Love, Sheila Rae


About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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