Saturday, November 1, 2008

Prose: I am the matriarch of my family.

I am the matriarch of my family.

Years ago I would have laughed at this notion. I would have pointed to other people who were ahead of me in the family line, then, who I thought would still be here even now. Yet that is not the case. There is no one ahead of me and hasn’t been for the past seventeen years.

I remember when my mother died from a septic infection as I was coming out of surgery. I realized I was next. I was now, not only her oldest daughter, I was the oldest in the surviving family line. On some level, it sobered me. It gave me a moment of pause, a moment to understand my place in the bloodline and my responsibility to everyone behind me.

As my grandchildren were born, a bunch of years later, someone said to me, ”So, you are the matriarch, aren’t you?”

I had never seen myself this way. I realized what she said was true. And it became truer still when I discovered a granddaughter and her daughter who I had never met.

With a younger sister, sons, a daughter, and now a few more generations of young women, I am just that…the matriarch of my family.


Anonymous said...

Dear Prema,

It was as wonderful as it was powerful to read your contemplate my place in the family line and the way that mortality reveals itself to each and every one of us...

Thank you!

Barbara Sykes

sonya said...

I can't think of a better matriarch to have and to inspire me for the future :)