After coming home from seeing the movie Suffragettes this evening with my Mother, I was filled with emotion. Women, Powerful Women, thank you for paving our paths!! I bow to you and to the men that supported you in your Sacred work. Your mission was enormous and because of your courage and light we continue in our unique individual ways. Each lineage with their own stories, themes to peal and heal for the collective whole. Acknowledging how far we have come and what life was like for our ancestors. It was not long ago that women had no rights to vote, and that in many places still have no rights. As we know it is an endless topic as we continue to strive as humans to embrace our humanity and release ourselves fully from bondage of the collective slavery. And to shed light on the courage it takes to follow the souls path. Just by being true to Who You Are, You are a vehicle of great change!
I began to reflect on my own family.
I share a story of my Grandmother – A story of Courage
My Maternal Grandmother, Ada Matilda was born on May 22nd, 1917 here in the Bronx, NY. At the age of 5 her Mother died of Spanish influenza and her father not far after her. She had 2 siblings that also passed from this pandemic, a brother and a sister. Her family was gone and so by the age of 6 years old she was taken in by the catholic church. She lived in many catholic orphanages throughout Westchester and the Bronx. My Grandmother was an excellent worker so she was kept hidden when potential adoptive parents visited the orphanage. This way she could continue to be enslaved. Before she died in December of 2009, she told me stories of how she was beaten with metal trays.
She shared a story about the time she was beaten terribly and she ran out with no shoes. She had to walk a very long way and she was in pain. There were a small group of nuns that came to her aid. They took her in and rubbed her sore feet. She would visit them periodically after school and they would give her comfort and love.
She lived in orphanages until she was 18 years old. She was in the process of taking vows and was well in the stages of becoming a nun. She broke her back suddenly and they decided she was to be dismissed. I guess she wouldn’t be of any further use to them. Those floors needed cleaning! She left the convent and moved in with her Aunt. She lived there until she met my Grandfather, and they were married. They had 2 children.
My Grandmother was very loving and kind to me. When I was a little girl she taught me how to sew on her big clunky machine. Together we created beautiful Christmas decorations. We also had so much fun making Italian cookies, Yummy Pizzelle!! She was an incredible seamstress and made my Mother elaborate Goddess Gowns. She loved the Yankees and it gave her great pleasure to sit in her chair and watch the game. She made incredible meatballs until her arthritis took away her strength. Her hands created so much beauty.
She embraced me as a teenage Mother even though my ways were foreign for her. She loved her Grandson dearly! While my Father’s side hid me like a shameful secret. She never tried to turn me on the church but inserted small pieces of information to remind me in some way. She told me Mary had other children. I read between the lines, All is not what it seems! That was the message. I was listening Nanny, I know!!
She was in and out of the hospital for most of her life. I wish I knew more of her stories and more about who she was as a women. How she felt about her husband, sexuality and what made her heart sing. What it felt like for her to make love for the first time and to hear her birth stories. Now I carry her through my own body and all of those mystical women and men who were part of our story. I chose wisely by incarnating into this specific line. I look forward to deepening the knowledge which has been passed through my womb. And unveiling the many gifts bestowed to me. Thank you Nanny!
I think of all of our ancestors and their incredible stories. They lived hard lives and were so brave. I don’t really know much about my lineage as the trail has somehow been lost. I tap in and get information but I have few stories with me. I just feel the sadness in my body right along the power and wisdom. Women in these Magdalene laundries.. Women in chains.. A constant fight to stay alive with any dignity. I continue to be perplexed that I was raised catholic after the series of events that took place in the name of the church. How the poison still found its way through. My Grandmother chose not to attend church and yet my family continued the traditions.
So I wanted to honor her and thank her for her strength and for the gifts she has handed down to me. I want to promise her that I will forgive the church and the hands that violated her. That I will be strong and continue my work in this world. That I will be the freedom and joy that she was not able to Be.
Thank you Nanny! I love you