Year and a Day Journal #5: November 5th, 2015

I have some time, and it’s not quite dangerously late, so I think I’ll do prompt five.

Here it is: What are the names of your ancestors (by blood or spirit) who have helped guide you on your path? How have they helped?

Now, I get the question, but to be real, I don’t have any Witchy ancestors.  That’s not to say that I don’t have ancestors who are awesome and have definitely influenced my life, but I don’t know if that necessarily applies to this prompt.

That being said, I’m going to talk about my ancestors anyway.

Since I’m posting under a pseudonym, I really can’t do the full names of my relatives either.  I will say that my maternal grandmother’s name influenced my Witch name.  She was a German, Catholic woman, who grew up during some of the most defining moments in American history.  She was alive for almost the entire 20th century (born before women had the right to vote!) and lived to almost be 100.  She was truly a great lady, and a woman that I simultaneously associate with water and fire.  She had a temper but nobody cared about her grandchildren more than she did.  Looking back as we come to just over a year without her, I’ve realized that she taught me a lot about family and myself.  I remember one time when she came to visit.  She stayed for probably five days, and by the end I remember telling my brother that I was sick of having her around (I was pretty young).  She was quite hurt by my comment, and I realized that words spoken, even if there is some truth to them, can be poisonous.  After that, I tried to never take having her around for granted.

I also have my dad’s side of the family, which I know more about.  My grandma and grandpa were alive until recently also, and I did a lot of work to document their history.  I loved my grandparents dearly, and they were at the head of a family so close it sometimes seems like we’re all crazy.  We did camping trips all the time and they were very active for their age.  I loved my grandpa dearly, but nothing gutted me more than when my grandma unexpectedly died.  She was in the middle of crocheting an afghan for me as a college graduation present–something she did for all of my cousins.  When she died, she had only finished about enough to make a violently pink table runner.  Because she taught me to crochet, I’m hoping to finish it someday in her honor.  Maybe I will do it over several years, and I suppose that someday I could pass it on to my children.

Now, I don’t know much about my ancestors beyond my grandparents.  As you could probably tell by the fact that my grandma lived so long, our generations are spaced quite a bit farther apart than most families, so I never met anyone in my family older than my grandparents.  That being said, because I did so much research on my family with my dad’s side, I do know who they were and what they did.  Most of them, of course, were farmers, homesteaded in the Midwest when they immigrated from Norway.  Because of this, Norwegian heritage is a big part of my life.  I will always be proud of being Norwegian, and I’m definitely closer to that heritage than the German heritage I have.  But I love both.

I think my ancestors have helped me by getting me to where I am.  Everything I am, every part of who I am, comes from them.  Nothing would be the same if they hadn’t made the sacrifices they did, if they hadn’t been the people they were.  My relatives influenced my outlook on myself, on my hobbies, on my idea of family, and on my entire identity.  This path is not the path that they chose by any means, but just as everything is connected in some way, I couldn’t follow this path if it hadn’t been for my ancestors.

 

)O(

I hope that they are resting in peace.

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