I’ve blogged about grandfather on more than one occasion, a man certainly deserving of mention and respect, but I know a woman equally as deserving,…grandmother.
A woman whose seen, heard, endured, and emerged with a positive attitude, smile, and kind word for all.
Grandmothers a helper, that’s the role she has staked out for herself, but also a matriarch in the sense that she is looked to for wisdom and sound advice much the same as grandfather.
Her “daughters” adore her, and perhaps her greatest strength is to know when to offer advice and when to defer.
Her emphasis is the well being of those within her orbit, whether friend or family, and utterly selfless.
She knows the ways and has a well worn bag never far from reach containing everything essential, from her favorite splinter extracting needle to sage, a measuring cup made long ago from a buffalo horn, assorted herbs, and what some would refer to as “fetishes” – though that is a word she scorns preferring medicine.
Grandmother has a great humility about herself, but also an unmistakeable pride in being one of the people.
Grandchildren are a joy for her – she sees both the future and the past in them, eager to instruct, listen, or engage in some game with them.
I doubt there is a single plant within a huge radius she isn’t familiar with, can’t chapter and verse it’s name along with it’s nutritional and medicinal values – a knowledge best characterized as encyclopedic, the result of a covenant made decades ago grandmother strictly adheres to – pristine, nothing added or subtracted – no new age or rainbow influence.
I mentioned to a friend recently that while grandmother doesn’t believe her spirit will be captured in the taking a photo of her she is nonetheless not keen on the idea.
Nor is she infatuated with the internet, she would never promote herself on the net or offer her “wisdom”, dvd’s, cds, or any of that for a price/donation.
Grandmother in fact believes there are things specific to the nations that should be kept that way, I agree, after having lived the life and seeing the rampant corruption of our ceremonies and traditions her position is valid.
This woman can see a missing button or some small tear a mile away, when she does it’s off with the shirt and out comes the needle and thread.
I think if I had given her a dollar for every tear she’s mended or button she’s sewn on, every bruise, cut, busted lip or black eye when I was younger and crazier she’s tended she would be listed in Fortune 500.
I asked grandmother once if she could turn back the personal time that has been her life if she would? Thinking about it for a moment she said she could see no reason to as she is where she wants to and should be – that if a single direction had been changed that might not be the case. But there are many things she would have to have been different for her people, for all the nations.
I wonder how many people would be willing to say the same thing?