The Stories Behind Blackberry Cobbler

Why I Wrote Blackberry Cobbler - Part 1

Let me tell you a true story…

In my 39th year of life, I lost my paternal grandmother, Irene. She had been a most beautifully, empowering force in my life and it was a major struggle to make peace with this devastating loss. I vividly recall the night as I was trying to write her obituary and there were more tears flowing than words. Only days earlier, I was laying beside her, my head next to hers on the pillow, as she struggled to take her last breaths on earth. My heart was literally breaking as I feared experiencing death this up close and personal for the first time. I seriously did not want to watch her die, yet I didn't want to let her go so I couldn't leave. In those last precious moments together, she was everything to me, as I recalled all the many years she'd been there for me, almost from the very beginning. 

So I stayed there with her, to the very end... All my life, she'd done so much for me, I had to do this for her. 

It was during these very visceral, life-altering moments that the inspiration for Blackberry Cobbler was born. Let me explain.... 

You see, I didn't have the greatest of beginnings... And she's the one who took me into her home and her heart as a toddler, when my parent's marriage crumbled and fell apart. She nursed me back to health as I suffered through horrific allergies and stomach disorders, that had me looking like an emaciated refugee child. From the time I came to sit at her knee, while she cooked the best food and shared the best stories, I grew up under her tutelage, her guidance and her ever-watchful eye. I can unequivocally say, I would not be the woman I am today, had God not seen fit to place me in her care. 

For me, she was the epitome of strength, a place of acceptance and unconditional love. She represented a tender smile, a warm hug and a firm voice of correction. She was a covering, comforting, life-sustaining sheltering tree, and the woman I would always love, admire and treasure. She was my Granny, my road dog and my friend.

My Granny... She taught me about life, love, and being a good Christian woman; living clean and strong, while surviving and thriving in a man's world. She taught me about the value of educating myself when society was determined to keep me ignorant and dependent on welfare systems. She taught me that truth, honesty and integrity matters, because the justice system wasn't always just for people who looked like me. Being raised in the Jim Crow South, she drilled it into my head to always obey the law because that wicked system was designed to steal my future and leave me mentally, emotionally and financially crippled... Because of her admonishments, to this day, I pride myself on being a law abiding citizen.  

She taught me what a treasure it was to have the love of a good man and the secrets to keeping a good man once you found him. She showed me by example, how to make a man know that he's a king in your presence, inside and outside of the bedroom. Oh yeah... She was real like that. She pulled no punches, she spoke her truth, she told you what you didn't want to hear and made you like it. 

She was also one to tell you a pretty lie when she knew you were too fragile to handle the ugly, painful truth... Yet the day always came when she sat you down, apologized for the lie and laid out the harsh reality of the truth. She prayed, preached, cursed, fussed and let the chips fall where they may, and she always left you knowing exactly where things stood with her... good, bad or ugly. 

I think the most important lesson she taught me was this... 

"Life can sometimes be really bad. It can throw you some really terrible stuff, that you cannot always control. But when those really bad things happen, and they will, you have to learn to face life and make it behave! You have to learn not to run away from troubles, but to get in the middle of the mess and do what you can to straighten things out and make things better. And what you can't fix, you work on your own self, to learn to live with the circumstances, to make peace with your new reality and make the best of it, so you can keep going and do what you have to do. Life may break down, but it doesn't have to break you down. You face life and make it behave!

These were some of the words she taught me, that I still live by today, and they're part of the amazing legacy that inspired me to write the story of Mama Glory in Blackberry Cobbler

Yes, I have many, many other reasons for writing this novel, which I will share over the next few weeks, as we're making the final preparations to introduce Blackberry Cobbler to the world. Sharing the story of my Granny's life and all that she brought to the world, is a huge part of the assignment that the universe has placed in my hands. And I am bound and determined to do her story justice! 

I'm so excited about this journey to bring parts of our family history to the printed page, for the sake of posterity and to make sure the voices of my ancestors will never be lost to time. 

Thanks for joining with me and I hope you'll be enriched by my writing, my vision and my passion. 

If you have endearing stories about your loved one, please feel free to share them in the comments! Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Peace and Blessings!


The Clark Sisters 
Irene -My Granny (L) Flora (C) Lorene (R) 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

William and Irene
My Granny and Grandpa - The Love of  Her Life!

 Grandparents And My Sibs L-R Kevin, William (Billy), Me, Granny, Kim and Grandpa. 
Circa 1968
Yep, That's Me, Sitting In My Granny's Lap!


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