Great-grandmother

There is no telling how many generations of women in my family have been plagued by tragic decisions of their own.  I think of King David and how God said his adultery and murderous ways would affect his family for generations (2 Samuel 12:11-12).  In Exodus 20:5 says that the sins of fathers affect their children to the fourth generation.  Well, I am four generations from my great-grandmother and I can tell you that certain curses are still with us. 

I know that sometimes women are victims of circumstances put on them by selfish decisions made by someone else like their parents, husband, siblings, children, etc.  I’m not at all blind to that but my mission is to really look at how the decisions we make practically beg for us to be used, neglected, lied to, cheated on and worse.  The wolves are out there so protecting the sheep is a must.  Wolves eat sheep and that will never change.  So protecting yourself is the most logical choice.  That is just plain common sense.  But being human means that we get into trouble by leading with our emotions.

My great-grandmother, we’ll call her *Greta, was a very worldly woman by all accounts.  When I think of the stories I  heard about her I realize how things in the world really haven’t changed much.  At 18 she got pregnant with my grandmother and handed her off to be raised by relatives soon after her birth.  She wanted to get her party on and probably didn’t mean to get pregnant.  But she did.  My grandmother says that her mother was married to her father but my family research has shown otherwise.  Anyway, my great-grandmother smoked, drank and chewed tobacco.  I saw this for myself the one and only time I ever met her when I was 4 years old.  She cussed a lot and I thought it was funny.  I remember her dropping f-bombs when I used to talk to her on the phone.  Sometimes I couldn’t wait to talk to her because laughter was guaranteed.  According to my grandmother, Greta spent very little time with her and a lot of time sleeping around.  She had a bad reputation and back in the 30’s that was enough to make a whole family social outcasts.  Nevertheless, Greta did what she wanted and listened to no one.  Her own mother died when she was a little girl and only God knows what kind of life she had after that.  I am positive that not having a mother played a big part in her becoming who she was.  I think she had something like 6 siblings and I can bet she didn’t get as much attention as she needed.

Just to give you a clear picture of the consequences of Greta’s lifestyle choices, she only had one child and died alone in a raggedy, mouse-infested house in Louisiana.  My mom flew out there from California to take care of her.  Even though Greta was born and raised right there in the same town where she died, not one family member wanted to care for her in her last days.  They had watched her abandon her own child and chase men.  Most of them had a hand in taking care of my grandmother because her father didn’t take care of her either.  Grammy didn’t really talk about her father, probably because she didn’t know much.  All she knew was that he owned a lot of land and did pretty well for himself financially.  He died years before Greta did. 

It makes me sad to think about it because my own father is not a part of my life and my mother also left me and my sisters with my grandmother so she could spend years feeding her cocaine addiction and sleeping with random men.  The apple don’t fall far from the tree, and sometimes it holds on and just rots right there on the branch.

I see Greta in my grandmother, my mother, my aunt, and my sister.  We all have pieces of her, like me and my strong will and foul mouth.  The sad part is some have made the same horrible decisions and ruined their lives and the lives of their children.  My hope, my goal is to share my family history with my children and the fifth generation so that they can be aware and be cognizant of our family’s vulnerabilities.  Then they can stay close to God always and be mindful of who their choices will affect.

I am a prayer warrior, and I will spend my life petitioning God to stop these cycles from following my children and the entire fifth generation!

*Pseudonym used

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