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This one is easy. My Armenian ancestors left me with a strength and resiliency that only those peoples who have been oppressed can experience. And I am grateful for our cultural heritage of music, learning and entrepreneurship passed down through the centuries. Most of all, I am really grateful that my grandparents saw the handwriting on the wall and escaped before the worst of the genocide. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even be here.
For the thread of life and for all of what they passed on in love, as well as for the difficulties to be overcome. Thank you for all.
That they are from Ireland and Scotland. I am grateful for the music, dance, the stories , the humor as well as the serious hardships and history. All of it. I knew I was home when I went to Ireland 2x and can’t wait to return but this year I will visit Scotland and see if I feel the same way. I am mostly Irish.
They took big decisions, like moving from Scotland to Australia and starting a new life. They worked hard to bring their dreams to reality, and some made incredible sacrifices in the name of freedom. Their achievements in all-to-brief lives were remarkable.
Having grown up in a multigenerational household, I saw them in action, at work. I am very grateful for the work ethic, many skills for reusing EVERYTHING, their patience, generosity, and living Zen habits with the seasons. An appreciation for doing a job well, the value of a clean bed, and hours of stories while cooking, sitting on the porch, hanging laundry, weeding the garden. Grace in growing old.
Their work ethic, their strength & courage, their honesty & loyalty. I come from good decent hard working folks. I am thankful for their integrity, that was & has been passed down to me & my generation.
When I think about my ancestors, I immediately go to my maternal grandmother. My nana, who helped raise me and who is always close in heart to me. I am so grateful for the unconditional love she gave me growing up in a dysfunctional, alcoholic environment. I didn’t appreciate her enough or thank her enough for taking care of us. I call upon her often and I choose to believe that she hears me and now knows how much I love her and appreciated all that she did for me, bratty kid that I was.
This leads me to share a story.
I was at a weekday mass and was especially feeling my Nana’s presence…with tears I silently spoke with her and apologized to her for taking her for granted. I was feeling so guilty and sad. When it came time in the service (Catholic) for us to “offer each other a sign of peace”, I turned around and there was this sweet little Italian lady (looking just like my Nana) who took my hands, looked me in the eye, and said “You are a good and kind person” Not usually what happens during this ritual. When mass was over…I turned around to talk to her and she was gone.
I am forever grateful for that encounter with my Nana…..she is my angel. And I am grateful, honored, and humbled to be her granddaughter.
Clarinda Toscani from Bedonia, Italy…..my heart is filled with her unconditional love.
I am grateful for this question and the opportunity to share about this beloved ancestor of mine.
Have a blessed day everyone 🙏
What an amazing story, Diane! Thank you for sharing this.
Thanks, Diane, for sharing such a heartwarming and uplifting experience.
I had chosen my ancestral family to make my appearance, the youngest, and the last family member of my family of origin it is only prudent that the young ones inherit all their beauty. I come from a very small family of Jewish immigrants from Prussia during the first wave of immigration to Staten Is., NY
Seeing five generations gathering together in one small room for the High Holy days had made an indelible impression on me.
With my great grandmother’s speaking only in Yiddish.
I am grateful for all the hardships they endured..so that I could have a better life. I am grateful for them…and for who I am because of heredity.
Good Morning to my friend Diane on this Tuesday day of prayer and connection. I hope all is well with you and your family. We are still waiting for temps to rise above 45 here, so we can move about and enjoy the amenities of this area more regularly! Many blessings to you and yours!
Good morning dear friend….today’s question brought up a tearful stream of emotions for me.
Such a joy and blessing to have this continued connection with you.
Om Shanti friend….have a peace-filled day. 🙏
I am grateful for the teachings … hard work, somewhat fearless in their journeys from another country, learning new things/ways in this country. I am grateful for having gifts passed down the generations, Music, Farming/Gardening, the ways of Faith and gratitude. I have 50+ cousins on my Dad’s side of the family, and there were many gatherings, lessons, support. I learned so much along the way … kindness and joy included.
I recently got my DNA tested so I can thank people from England and northwestern Europe, the Isle of Man, Sweden, Denmark, Germanic Europe, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and the Baltics for all their moving around and pairing up that resulted in me. Special thanks for my good teeth and general good health.
I want to acknowledge that because my ancestry is white European, I have access to documentary information about my ancestors that isn’t available to many whose people were taken or driven off their lands. White colonizers and enslavers destroyed the lineage of oral histories and family knowledge. Questions about ancestry are more inviting to some than to others, given these painful truths. In that context I especially appreciate Carol’s quote from “Amistad”: “I will call into the past and beg my ancestors to come and help me for at this moment, I am the whole reason they have existed at all.”
Barb, If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s worth your time. I’m sure it is available at your local library. I’ve watched it more than once!
I’m grateful that they survived!
Like a pyramid, our family trees
spread out, going back In time,
with each one of us at the very top point.
For their care of me!
I share a Morning Med from Oct 31 2018 Hallows Eve
“I will call into the past and beg my ancestors to come and help me for at this moment, I am the whole reason they have existed at all.” African Cinque in the movie, “Amistad.”
Good Morning, When I was a kid, costumes for Halloween were homemade. Stores had a variety of masks but unlike today, there were no stores with racks and racks of ready-made outfits for kids. Mothers were creative in helping their little ones with the homemade images of characters they wanted to portray for those few exciting hours of pretending and canvassing their local .neighborhoods trick or treating.
Families on limited budgets made home-cooked candies, cookies and cupcakes to plop in visitors trick or treat bags. No one found it necessary to have the homemade goodies x-rayed or dumped in the trash because they might be poisonous. After all, it was Hallows-eve, the night before All Saints Day. The only mischievous act was teenagers soaping windows.
Of course, as a kid, I found Halloween much more interesting and fun but these days, I focus much more on the lives of my ancestors and all of the evolutionary-minded souls who have gone before me. I have been greatly influence by the movie Amistad which is a true story about the slave ship La Amistad.
It tells the true story of a young African named Cinque who leads the slaves aboard the ship in an unprecedented uprising. They take over the ship and when the ship docks in Connecticut, they are taken prisoner and their release becomes the subject of heated debate as several countries attempt to lay claim to ownership. A Connecticut resident and freed slave Theodore Joadson wants Cinque and the others Africans exonerated and freed so he recruits property lawyer Roger Baldwin to help his case. After losing in state courts, John Quincy Adams also becomes an ally and he represents them before the Supreme Court and they do ultimately gain their freedom.
Cinque, the humble leader of his fellow Africans, will speak for them at this court appearance. As John Quincy Adams is preparing the young African for his day in court, he explains that he will be alone and vulnerable on that day and may not be heard by the judges. The young man does not appear to be afraid and he replies, “I will call into the past and beg my ancestors to come and help me for at this moment, I am the whole reason they have existed at all.” That line of dialogue is always with me.
We are the whole reason that those before us existed at all.
We are their resurrection just as those who come after us will be our resurrection. I claim the wisdom and strength of my ancestors often. I find it calming and extremely helpful to me. I sense that their energies are always near. May be already within me and they want to come as I am the whole reason they existed at all. Creation is one.
Thank you, Carol. Once again, much food for thought in your reflection today.
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