When I Need To Kick A Little Butt

I have a good luck charm.

Okay, don't laugh at me. I realize that this might sound ridiculous. And for the record... I don't really believe it brings me good luck in the traditional sense. But this one article is my "go-to" whenever I need to remember that I'm a part of something bigger than myself. Whenever I need to remember that I have a cheering section behind me. Whenever I need a little extra feisty edge.

Are you ready? Here it is:

In case you can't see it (let's face it, my photography isn't particularly stunning). Its a small gold necklace with the letter "M" in fancy script on the front. The "M" stands for Marie: my grandmother's name, my great-grandmother's name, and my middle name. This necklace has been around for at least 100 years, and I get to have it for no good reason- except the name I was given at birth. How cool for me? (Sorry, Sis!)

My grandmother who wore this necklace was a feisty wartime bride who lived out most of her young motherhood in foreign countries where she didn't speak the language or know a soul. And she did it while never forgetting her lipstick or her pearls I'm certain. Now, don't go feeling sorry for her. She wouldn't appreciate it. Marie was a strong individual (who was an acquired taste) that would judge our presidents by their first lady (I like to think of it as feminist of her).

She once walked up to a stranger with a Washington DC license plate which read: "Taxation Without Representation" and said to him: "I don't think you all should have the vote. You have the nicest and cleanest streets already."

I mean really, what do you say to that?

She believed children were to be seen and not heard (that included her own grandchildren). And she also wore Estee Lauder faithfully every day of her life. When she died, there were TUBS of the stuff in her refrigerator. Why she bought in such bulk, I don't know. But that was her in an nutshell: expensive face cream bought in bulk, gold jewelry and fancy hair with a simple button-down collared shirt. She was quite a lady.

And so, when I need to remember that her blood runs through my veins, I wear this necklace. (Oh okay, and sometimes I wear it because it matches my outfit.) But I always think about her when I put it on: my namesake.

And mostly what I contemplate (for half a second while getting ready, because, really: moms don't have a lot of prettifying time) is that part of growing up is looking at your ancestry with all their flaws. Really knowing their warts and seeing them for what they are... and then loving the good of them, and honoring it in yourself.

And then I stop being so deep, and look at the clock, and realize I'm running late for the office again.

Wishing you roots that run deep,


1 comment:

  1. Krysta - one of my grandmother's favorite expressions was "You have to accept ________ (usually Mother, as she referred to my mom) warts and all.

    Isn't it funny that women that are so different than our "modern selves" are the ones we revert back to when we need that extra oomph of self-motivation? My grandmother marched against Vietnam.

    Fabulous blog as always!


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