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Awakening the Wisdom of Grandmothering

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"She never set foot in a school and could neither read nor write. She sat with people as they entered the world and as they left it. As I am writing about her to you, she becomes alive again."

The coauthor of the words you are reading is a ghost. My grandmother was a midwife and healer. Whether you are an old soul in a millennial body or an elder yourself, I am writing this to pass the blessing of wisdom from her hands through mine into yours. She never set foot in a school and could neither read nor write. She sat with people as they entered the world and as they left it. As I am writing about her to you, she becomes alive again: a tiny woman with a fierce will who had one foot planted on the spiritual side and the other on the pragmatic. In the late 1800s, she ran across Russian potato fields to escape Cossack soldiers. They killed her first two children and brother during a pogrom, an attack on Jewish villages. Driven by that indomitable will to foster life, she gave birth to eight more children in a two-bedroom apartment on the fifth floor of an old brick tenement in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. My grandmother didn’t pass away from me, she passed into me. She saw things in people that they didn’t recognize in themselves. When I was born, she looked at the palms of my tiny hands and r …

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