Thanksgiving is about food and family and memories and connections. Sometimes those connections are new, with folks who would be family, only if they were near and known.
I made such a connection tonight, with a marvelous lady named Cathy, from the land of Facebook in Pantsuit Nation. She posted this picture and story about a table setting from her mother’s depression glass, and the legacy of strength and faith passed down from woman to woman.
Cathy said that her grandmother collected these beautiful dishes in West Virginia during the depression on a meager teacher’s salary, and was a dedicated public servant, working at the voting polls every election in her community until her mid-seventies. Cathy’s mother inherited the dishes, and passed them on to Cathy when she turned 50. She has followed her mother and grandmother in public service and is a special education teacher. Cathy’s daughter, a lawyer representing workers who have been treated unfairly, will inherit these dishes one day. Cathy says: “We will endure, we will create beauty in the midst of chaos, we represent hope.”
Cathy’s Facebook post about these dishes, her family and the legacy of strength, conviction and public service on the matrilineal side garnered 500+ likes in its first 30 minutes, and spawned dozens of comments from women who, like me, feel a connection with her story. Family legacy objects like Cathy’s depression-era glass serve as a talisman to help us believe in better days, better people, better lives. I have many such items from my grandmothers on both sides that remind me daily to do my best, try my best, be my best.
Thank you, Cathy, for your story. The ladies in your family are role models for all of us.