When your height literally makes you stick out like a sore thumb among your family members– go ahead, look at your hand. . . my parents and siblings are the fingers; I’m the thumb– inevitably, questions arise. Stupid questions, random questions, invasive questions, none-of-your-damn-business questions. . . you name it, it’s been asked. Puzzled strangers have queried me, desperately trying to identify the source of the short gene.
A little shaking of the family tree has led me to believe that my great-grandmother, Mamie Gilley Nance, bequeathed her height to me. A few of my older cousins have remarked that she was a small woman. Her cousin Lula Tindell, is also remembered as being very petite, which she referenced while a senior at Tuskegee Institute in 1922.
In fact, when I asked my aunt about her memories of “Cousin Lula,” the first thing she mentioned was that she was “very petite.”
“She kind of reminded me of you in that way,” my aunt said.