Monday, March 8, 2021

Monday Morning Inspiration/International Women's Day

When I sat down to do my writing this morning, I tore the page off my daily calendar and saw that it's International Women's Day. For some, the day will mean nothing. For others, it's a day to participate in a march. For me, it's a day to reflect, and to think about the women who came before me. None of them wrote a great piece of literature, found a cure for a disease, or held a political office. But, they were heroes in their own right. I wrote the piece below in 2012, the morning before I went to vote. I hope that you will enjoy it.


A Voice Where One Did Not Exist

A few years before my great aunt died, she gave me this picture.

It's an incredible piece of family history as pictured here in the front row is my great-great-great grandmother and grandfather. On the right hand side of the picture, is my great-great grandfather and grandmother(her eyes have been scratched out. At some point in time, a child got hold of this picture and drew all over the back and scratched out the eyes of my great-great grandmother.) In her lap is my great grandmother and in the lap of her sister is the twin sister of my great grandmother. This photograph was taken in 1886.

Faces from the past, strangers, and yet, my family.

As I look at this woman, my ancestor, I think of what her life was like. It was a hard life. She would have risen early, cooked on a wood stove, which meant the stove had to be stoked prior to cooking. No turning a knob and instantly having a flame. Eggs would be gathered, chickens fed, the cow milked, and all before breakfast was cooked. Her life was a busy life, taking care of a home, sewing, cooking, raising children and all without any of the luxuries that I now take for granted. What her eyes tell me though, is that this was all done as she had no other choice. No choice and more importantly, no voice. 

I know more about my great-great grandmother. What a joy to be able to see what my great-great grandfather looked like. He looks to have been a good man. The couple went on to have two more children, another daughter and a son. Sadly, my great-great grandfather died when the children were still quite young. At that time, a woman could not own land in Florida, but she could in Texas, as long as she was not married. In pursuit of a better life for her family, this woman who had been left alone with four young children, packed her wagon, tied the cow to the back, and set off for Texas. What an incredibly brave woman. There were no conveniences along the way. They had to walk as the wagon carried their belongings. Nights were spent under the stars, all of their food cooked on a campfire. When it rained, they were wet. It was a very difficult journey. They did make it to Texas and she and all of her children lived out their lives there. My great-great grandmother died in 1961 at the age of 96.
At the time of this picture, there are three generations of women who had no voice, no rights, only obligations. 
Today, I will vote. My right to vote is very important to me. It's important to ensure the future of the women who are yet to come, and it's important as a sign of respect for all those who came before me who had no voice. As I walk into the polling place today, I will think of my great-great grandmother. Each step I take will be dedicated to all the steps she took to pursue a better life for her family. As I cast my vote, I will thank her for the life I have, the voice I have, the rights I have. 


The picture below is of my great grandmother, the same woman who was being held by her mother in the family picture above. Although you can't see me, I am there. She was making breakfast, and I was standing beside her, talking. The photograph was taken as she looked down to reply to me. This picture hangs in my kitchen. Alongside the picture is the spoon that she cooked with. It's quite worn, but such a treasure to me. 

So many of us tend to get caught up in the idea that the women who have really made a mark in this world are those who have fought, marched, bucked the system. While they are important, I think it's also important to remember those who came before us, who took chances, and created a better life for their families. Had my great-great grandmother not taken the chance to walk to Texas with her family, I would not be here today. 

I hope that you will take sometime today to reflect on all those who came before you, who struggled and paved the path for your life. 

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  1. Both my grandmothers walked "at a trot" all day long, every day, in order to complete all their tasks. One died before I was born (my father told me she had walked at a trot) but the other one was a kind lady.

    1. I am told that I walk too fast :/ But, I think I come by it honestly. I was always taught that if I work diligently at the things I need to accomplish, I'll have more time for the things I really want to do.

  2. Thank you for sharing a bit of your family history.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read the story!!!

  3. https://www.themediterraneandish.com/greek-pastitsio-recipe/ Oddly enough the slotted version of your grandmother's spoon showed up today in this blog!

    1. Wow!!!, that's amazing! Thanks for sharing it with me :)