A Web of Maternal Love

“I remember smelling bacon and biscuits from my Grandma Avis’s kitchen. The matriarchs of both sides of my family were the sort of women who brought you into their everyday spaces with kindness and grace. They spoke like people who have seen things, who have lived difficult lives and have survived. We remember that their stories live on in our own, years after they’ve passed on… . . . We must remember that the work we do today, the work of both honoring our ancestors and asking questions about what work they left for us means that we acknowledge that this is ultimately part of creating a better world. This means there is always work to do. This means that as we shape the future, we remember the past because our ancestors lived it and shaped it, just as we live and shape our world today.” —Kaitlin B. Curtice, Native – Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God

A couple years ago I was listening to a talk by Lisa Sharon Harper and she asked, “Can you name your four great grandmothers?” I couldn’t, and the question stirred in me a deep desire to learn more about my ancestors.

Like Kaitlin Curtice, I also have very fond memories of my grandmothers, involving gardens and colorful canned goods lining cellar shelves, hello & goodbye smooches and weather journals. I had a lot more to learn, though, as I dug deeper into the past.

A web seemed to me a good visual metaphor for this contemplation.

Here are my two grandmothers:

Here are my four great grandmothers:

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