Prov Blog

Feeling Lucky: An Unpoetic Ode to Matriarchs

Posted by Jill Carnuccio on

My great-grandmother, Ina Davis was born in 1899; and I was lucky enough to know her. She cooked a mean fried chicken, the saltiest green beans you ever tasted and the best chocolate cream pie I've had to date. Granny sewed slipcovers and drapes in her barn on an old pedaled sewing machine, hung chickens from a clothesline before they met the frying pan and liked to beep her horn in tunnels just to hear the echo.

She also hated when I whistled.

I loved her.

She was my "Granny" and she was a character from the generation of preaching "hellfire and brimstone". For better and sometimes knew what Granny thought and you heard Granny sing! But she had faith...and it was for me a faith to build on.
My grandmother, Dorthea Davis was born in 1921 and I was lucky enough to have her until I had three teenagers of my own. I used to salivate in anticipation of her yellow cake with chocolate icing and her huge yellow bowl of potato salad. Nanny worked in the dietary department of Brandywine Hospital in her crisp white uniform for YEARS! And Nanny was strong. She regularly arm wrestled her sons-in-law and her grandsons. Then twitched her nose in delight if she could still take them down. She also let me call her ridiculous names.

I loved her.

She was my "Nan" and God doesn't make them sweeter. For better and sometimes worse...Nanny worried or Nanny sang! But she had faith...and it was faith for me to build on.
My mother, Millie (Davis) Morris, was born in 1942 (sorry Mom); and I am lucky enough to have her still! I used to love to come in from playing in the snow to her milky and rivelly potato soup and no holiday is right without her perfect apple pie. Mom has worked hard her whole life..."secretarying", mothering, caring, cleaning, buying, selling, home-making and giving in delight to the delighted. Mom makes even the mundane feel special. She also forgives my scattered mind.

I love her.

She is my "Mumsy" and she continues to be one of my best gifts in this life. For better and rarely worse, mom fusses over her family...( I won't comment on her singing since she reads my blogs!) Mom's life is full of evidences of faith for me to keep building on.
My patriarchal matriarchs are absent from my life experience but I have been told of their faith and seen it in my great aunt, Helen Riggs.  I was lucky enough to know her in my formative years. Before you crossed her threshold, you were handed carrot juice, a vitamin and whole-wheat carob chip cookies; all long before the "healthfood" industry showed its face in Chester County, PA. Helen was a spitfire who jogged in her basement until she had to be 80 years old. She used to play hymns on her old 45's and greet you with so much enthusiasm you felt like a celebrity. She worked at getting her family "saved"...and it worked for me! For better or worse Aunt Helen told you about Jesus...and though she is my blood on my father's side, her singing could make your ears curl in. But boy, did Aunt Helen have to build on.
Why do I write of my matriarchal lineage? Because I feel lucky!
And because I'm reflecting on the women in Christ's lineage...
women with strengths and weaknesses. Women whose faith God chose to build on. And though we cannot comment on their vocal talents we can read the songs of their lives and build on their faith.

They are, by faith, the matriarchs of us all.

Read about them:

Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Mary...

I promise you their stories will make you feel lucky.


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