I was born and raised up on the bayou in Louisiana by my grandmother. We lived by the rules of the bayou like most folks did. In the bayou people don’t talk about what goes on. There’s a lot that goes on because the people there have their own ways.
Mama, was what we called my grandmother. Mama was into a little dark when she was younger. She did some spells. When I was 9 years old we had a neighbor that stole our best hen. Mama was mad. She made up a doll and you know what that was for. The neighbor ended up having a car accident and broke both legs. Nobody ever stole from us again.
Mama never involved us kids in her dark ways but we learned a lot from her. She had strong beliefs and she didn’t hide them. We had to bless every piece of food and water. It wasn’t like a church blessing, it was to make sure the food and water nourished us and to thank the earth for providing it.
Hospitals weren’t something anybody living near us could afford so sometimes they came and got Mama to see what she could do when someone was sick. Sometimes she would spend days adding instructions to water then bring the water to the sick person. They usually always got better except one time.
There was an old man and he had been sick a long time. Mama did all kinds of things and the man did feel a little better but he was not going to be helped. He was ready to go. Mama told us it would be fast and he would not be in pain soon.
A few days later that man died. I was in my bed sleeping. I woke up and saw him in my room. He left the room right after I woke up. I was too afraid to get out of bed because I was like 9 years old. I told Mama what happened the next day and she said that he had come to her too. He wanted to thank us for our kindnesses and say goodby.
Lots of things like that happened growing up. I really miss that wise old woman.