As I wrote about before in "little me", I don't know much about my ancestors. Recently seeing picture of relatives, and even of myself for the first time has sprung something wide open. I have been thinking about how this is probably why I love and covet things that are old. I gather other people's history, and make it mine by placing it in my home. I gather, I collect. Not on a broad scale, but I do love old objects. They make me feel connected to a history. Last year I started to collect old photos of priests and Nuns. You will see how that ties in further on. But now, I have some provenance, even if it is in a two notes, and some scanned photos.
As I wrote in "little me" connections with my Father's side of the family was pretty well wiped out after my parents divorce, (thank god they divorced, or more like myself and my four siblings were abandoned by my Father.) The passing of my Grandfather sealed it. His wife, my grandmother died when I was young. I have only distant glimpes to that side. I do know that my paternal Grandfather was a Minister. I remember being baptized by him. I remember looking down at a crisp white envelope I was holding in my hand and wondering what he gave me. I guess that might have been my baptism certificate, something I never saw again. My Grandfather was a Preacher man. My Grandmother was a Preacher's wife, she was also a Mother and an Artist.
On my Mother's side there has been an even more severe cut off to the past. It is rumored in my family, that my Maternal Grandmother was the child of a Catholic Priest and Nun. She was raised by her "Aunts" who were her Mother's sisters. They were Scottish, from the McGraths that came here to America. I don't have any history, as it was always vague. Were they my real Aunts? Everyone thinks so. Luckily, my Grandmother was a huge part of my life. She was the coolest Grandma ever. She drove her cherished Chevy Camaro even at age 80. She loved listening to police radios, square dancing, and she was certified in nautical navigation and in ham radio communications. I remember her loving the Micheal Jackson tape I brought and played at her Summer house. She said it had a real good beat, and really got into it. She smoked ciggarettes, but said she didn't inhale (way before Clinton said that) Her name was Marie, no middle name. Just Marie. I remember when her Siamese cat had kittens in my bed. We we were sharing a room while she lived with us for awhile. I raced across the state in the middle of the night when I got a call that she had fell ill and was dying. I didn't make it in time to the hospital to say good -bye, but I did sit there with her lifeless body, smiling at her spirit. I loved her, and was very close to her. My Paternal Grandfather, died when I was very young. Not much was spoken about him. He was not a nice man. Perhaps someday, I will find out the heritage there. But his surviving daughters, my Mother and my Aunt, do not speak of him. I know why. My Mother remarried a man, my Stepfather, who is also a son of a Preacher. Interesting. The patterns.
So, I am the Granddaughter of two Preachers, and a Great Granddaughter of both a Priest and a Nun. This is sort of connected to my last blog entry "real live witches!" This begins my story of how I became to know who I was, under all of the fear, shame and pain. I hit bottom, and picked myself back up. I slowly began to realize my path, and it saved my life. When I say saved my life, I mean it. When a young girl is sexually, physically and emotionally abused by the very person who is supposed to be there to protect her, a part of her spirit gets broken forever. It also sets her up for more abuse. It is what she knows. It is the familiar.
This is the account about how I picked up all of the pieces, landing on my two feet, reaching my hands up to the sky, and breathing in all that was meant to be.Writing all of this out will be a challenge for me, but I am up to it. I will have to do this in small parts, so this is the start. The story of how I found that I had something holy pulsing through my veins.I inherited a certain something, that can't be fully explained, but I will do my best to express my truth to you, if you want to listen. Events that happened before I even knew about these ancestors.
What made you, you?
|the preacher's wife|
|the lost art|