To The Matriarchs I’ll Never Meet

To the ones who came before me, I honor your resilience.

I think of the thousands of women who came before me, beating the odds and choosing to continue on when the moments were too much to bear. My heart breaks when I think about all of the abuse and turmoil you were forced to live with, and I wish more than anything that the world didn’t treat you so poorly. I don’t know your names, I don’t know what countries you were born in or the amazing things you did  in your lifetimes. But I thank you for making me who I am today, though you will never know your impact. I thank you for my too-small nose, and big eyes, and full lips, and wide hips. I thank you for my brown skin, my wild hair, my flat feet, my small hands. I thank you for the rich blood that runs through my veins, the result of thousands of years of stories that I’ll never know. I thank you for my artistic spirit and my empathetic soul.

You sacrificed so much…physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. You sacrificed more than you were given. I’m not sure if you ever dreamed or thought about the future. I’m not sure if you ever thought that you’d have a young woman in your family  free to make her own choices and learn to her hearts content. Perhaps you never believed that, one day, one of your future daughters would see the world and experience the things that weren’t guaranteed to girls like her for such a long time. My only true hope is that I can make you proud. Should I decide to become a mother in the future, I’ll be equally proud to pass all of these inherited qualities onto my own child.

You’re all in my thoughts, wherever I am…whatever I’m doing.

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