In the Arms of a Goddess..
“I will love you, even then.” At the young age of seven, those words where comfort from my Grandmother. Now at the age of thirty, they have become my strength during hard times. You see, as a child, Nanny’s house was full of mystery and love, a place where hugs never ended and pride was shown in every crayon drawing on the wall. I will never forget the taste of her homemade gravy and biscuits, or what she called depression cake (sweetened cornmeal cake) . Yes those are all happy memories of my childhood.
When I was seven, while brushing my hair into a ponytail, she stopped and said she needed to talk to me. Caught off guard, I answered with a simple “ok”. What I didn’t know was what she was about to say would shape my life. She looked at me and said… “Things happen in life; they happen for a reason that is the greater good. When you have your son at a young age and you think you have failed, I will love you even then. You are my sunshine through the clouds and when I pass away, I will be yours.”
I dismissed it as crazy rambling from her. She did that often and so I laughed, “I’m not having kids, Nanny. I am going to finish school and be a veterinarian.” My Grandmother said many things when I was young that I just wrote off. Now as the days pass, I question a lot of it. Nanny was a Baptist to the best of my knowledge, but I wonder about that from time to time. I think she was really in the broom closet.
I have chosen to be Pagan and I found many of Nanny’s beliefs mirrored in my own. I didn’t know until I was older, and she was gone, how special a woman she was. I had heard the rumors in the family… of her abilities and how her family had moved around a lot. It wasn’t until my Grandfather passed in July 2011 that the family really started talking (even then it was limited) .
My Grandmother’s family was from Caves Cove in Kentucky, a farming area, where a large poorer family in a small town wasn’t uncommon. They held tight in that area to old wives tales and superstitions. The town was later bought out and flooded and is now a lake, with the family homestead under it. Before this, the family had already been outcasts from other towns and had moved around a lot. No real explanation was ever given concerning the need for so many moves other than the family was ‘just different’. ‘Different’, I was to find out, meant ‘blessed’. See, my Grandmother was totally right about my son.
My 17th birthday came and I had forgotten her words. I didn’t feel right and thought I had caught a virus. Maybe it was something else? I took a pregnancy test. I was positive. November 28th that year, I gave birth to my son. When I looked at him, I heard my Grandmother’s voice telling me she loved me. “Even then”.
I knew at that point my Grandmother saw this coming back when I was 7. She was psychic. Okay, I can handle that. Later on, I found out that not only was she psychic, she was also a healer. It was a gift passed down in the family.
When I say’ healer’, what I mean is, she had a strange talent… producing oil from her hands. This oil was shiny and warm. To produce this oil, she would rub her hands together, I remember them turning red and hot and then, like sweat, it would appear on her palms.
Once, after I had decided on my own to cut a wart off my finger with scissors, she healed it. The cut was pretty deep and bleeding a lot, but she cleaned the cut, blew on it, and the bleeding stopped. Then she rubbed her hands together and placed some of the oil on my cut. It had the feeling of a warm burn, and then the sensation faded. The wound soon healed. She did the same for my cousin when a game of double dog dare went bad. I refused a dare and the other kids were making fun of me. I grabbed a rock and threw it, hitting my cousin in the forehead. The cut bleed and skull was showing. Nanny made it stop bleeding, put her hands on him, and in three days there wasn’t even a mark.
Nanny had a gift of knowing… what seemed like everything. She had sayings like ‘if you kill a red-chested robin (a local bird) , you will never find your true love’. One B.B. gun later, and a robin down…I’m on my third marriage. My older cousin and partner in crime is on his fourth.
She also kept a horseshoe above every door… turned upright, of course, so the luck never ran out. A broom was left behind the door to keep out the unwanted, as she put it. Lambs ear was always grown next to the doors, as it brought luck and protection. Orange flowers of all kinds here grown too because orange is the color of happiness.
When she passed, the family covered all the mirrors in the house and turned the pictures down. They said it let her soul pass. Among the many things she taught me, love was the most important. With every hug she gave me, I am now convinced that a true Goddess hugged me. I feel blessed to have such an amazing person in my life. I hope that everyone who reads this finds some magic in his/her life, too.