Y’all know us Delanys are fighters. Yes sir! WE don’t go down with just one punch, or even ten! We’ve overcome a lot of turmoil. But every once in awhile, there’s something that knocks you so hard that you’re rattled. Just rattled. The biggest blow to my life was losing my beloved nephew, Hubert. Or as we called him, Little Hubie. Little Hubie was my younger sister, Julia’s, only child. He was what we called a spastic child, never quite right. But honey, how darling he was! His whole family was just a lovely bunch of people. Good papa and mama, that’s for sure. Julia was always lookin’ out for the most handsome men in the world. She just couldn’t help herself most times. She did land a very handsome, but lovely, man who was a great papa. Both wanted a family, but honey Julia would nearly die with how sick pregnancies got her. They had to pull Little Hubie out with forceps by his head. That’s all they could do to prevent another failed birth and to save Julia’s life! Little Hubie was just darling. Even though he was looked at as behind all the other boys, he was bright and charming in his own way. He had this funny way of talking but always could say the most clever things you would’ve heard. Yes sir! One time, Julia was to pieces ’cause she didn’t know whether to give Little Hubie medicine to help him sleep. She was convinced he’d become an addict to whatever the doctor gave him. As Sadie and I convinced her it was OK, Little Hubie bumped in, “That’s right. Give that poor child his medicine. Don’t let him suffer.” Everyone who knew us was well acquainted with Little Hubie and adored him almost as much as we did. I had a beau who was close with him. One night, I asked him if he thought Little Hubie would be alright. You know, just to reassure that others had faith. He didn’t answer but his silence basically did. After I prodded him to death with that same question, he looked at me real sad and said, “No Bessie. I do not.” Sometimes the truth can sting. But the truth in action is a whole different thing, child. When he caught pneumonia and passed, it was just the worst day. March 7th, 1943. What a nightmare. Sadie and I still celebrate his birthday, and I can’t get a night of sleep without cuddling up with his blanket. That was the greatest tragedy of my life. But maybe it was good for us.Before that I was a proud Delany, honey! We were the cream of the crop, and had enjoyed a great life. Nothing had come close to hurting us! But when Little Hubie entered and exited this world, I humbled up and realized I’m not as independent as I thought. A good life isn’t a life lived easy, that’s a fact.


I'm Niki!

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