Recently, I decided to pass on some family treasures and with this came the knowing that I needed to pass on the history also. With each treasure, I have written a letter outlining the background as I know it and the similar qualities I observe in the one I am gifting it to. Spirit is urging me to gift the treasures to the relatives who will cherish them and their history. Spirit gave me an even greater gift with the history.
One of the things I passed on is my Grandmother’s wedding ring. This is a simple gold band with initials etched on the inside. With this ring came a flood of memories and, with some research into documents I have, some interesting history. Spirit opened me to explore who this soul was in her lifetime in a different way from that of a grandchild.
I have always thought of my Grandmother as my Grandmother, rather than as a woman, wife, Mother, and so forth. My memories of her were Sunday dinners, cookies and soda pop when we stopped by, a great backyard and basement in which I played with the other grandchildren, and that she was a little bit cranky. Writing about her journey gave me a different view of her – a view of her as an incredible woman of fine character, great inner strength, and unusual spirit.
My Grandmother was an amazingly brave and courageous woman. She was born and lived in Germany with her family in her early life. My Grandfather came to America from Germany when he was 17 years old, worked for several years, then went back in 1906 to see his family and marry. He was in love with the sister of my Grandmother, wanted to marry her and have her move to America with him. She said no. My Grandmother said she would go with him, so she married him on April 25, 1906. She was 25 years old when he gave her the wedding ring and he was 34 years old. They were married for 57 years. Spirit arranged who was to be my Grandmother’s husband and where her life would unfold in a very unique and unusual way.
I asked myself if I would have been brave and courageous enough, or some would say foolish enough, to have said yes, I will go with you. It seems to me that my Grandmother was a highly spirited young woman with an adventurous nature who must have secretly been attracted to my Grandfather. The dreams she must have held in her heart of sailing across the ocean to a new land, of the life she and my Grandfather would have, of seeing New York City with the Statue of Liberty (where their names are engraved), and of the place where they would live and raise their family. The reality of it may have differed from her dreams, but she chose to create a life that was filled with four children, a successful farm, friends in her church and community, and she held herself together no matter the challenges. Spirit supported her through enormous opportunities to change and grow on her journey.
How lonely she must have been without her own family, without the tenderness from her Mother or other family members. Without anyone with whom to share the joys and sorrows of a woman in an intimate way, she must have created a protective shell around herself. She was a simple woman who valued people more than things, family, tradition, and the freedom she found in this country. She was conservative in her dress, her lifestyle, and her thinking. She was strict with herself and her family. She raised men and women who made the world a better place. She lived to be 90 years old. Spirit enfolded her daily, but especially in times of sorrow.
Spirit revealed to me the family treasures she passed on which were far greater than a wedding ring. She passed on treasures of the soul, the heart, the mind, strength of character, integrity, honesty, an adventurous spirit, a courageous pioneer lineage, a woman of faith, hardworking, steadfastness, and a lover of life in all its forms.
Spirit revealed the advances in all areas of life that she lived through and adjusted to from transportation, to mail, to communication systems, to dress, to traditions, to ways of thinking and being, to how women were held in all areas of life, to space travel, and more. Spirit revealed how very open she was, yet quietly and firmly maintaining her beliefs in her own way.
Reggie didn’t know her, but he would have loved her. She would have loved him too as she loved animals. I trust that she and Reggie connect when he is on The Other Side during sleep time. The blessings of the family treasures passed on materially, and more importantly, those of character astound and humble me with gratitude for the glimpse Spirit provided into the deeper gifts of my Grandmother. Nancy and Reggie♥