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  • Writer's pictureIvy

If my grandmothers had been born in the 21st century

For the last couple of months I’ve been building my family tree and researching my ancestors. I’ve taken this amazing voyage and discovered people I come from whom I didn’t know existed. I have been paying close attention to the ancestresses in my line, trying to imagine what their lives were, paying attention to details like the age they were when they got married, had children, passed away…

Very often I’ve found information about their male counterparts describing their jobs and social ranks, but rarely found this data for the women. I now realize my knowledge about what my ancestresses did, and how they lived, ends with my great great grandmothers. Beyond them I can’t really say if my ancestresses had any inclinations, even in an amateur level, maybe writing or painting, apart from their domestic lives.

But I remember my grandmothers vividly and I can’t help thinking about them, about this missing information on their profiles.

I suddenly found myself wondering about their lives, were they happy? Did they feel fulfilled? Did they have the freedom to choose the lives they wanted to live or did they just adjusted themselves to the mentality and customs of the time and went with the flow?

I was very lucky to know them and learn from them for many years, not only my childhood but well into my adulthood. I got to know their tempers and talk to them as an adult, they told me their amazing stories and details from their youths. They shared with me their dreams and some of their secrets. To me this is precious. Incidentally, both of them share some similar characteristics: they were both born in the first quarter of the 20th century, they both got married in their late 20’s, they both went to college and worked afterwards. Maybe these two last facts are the ones that amaze me the most, that they decided to pursue a career in a time were none of this was expected of woman. They didn’t have many independent female role models, the ideal life was the family life, the perfect wife and mother, amazing cook, the beautiful house and all its chores. And they did all of that but I know they were not very happy about it, maybe on the family part they were but they left the personal and professional development on the side, putting the needs of others before theirs. These were the times and this was the way but this doesn’t mean it made everybody happy, particularly women.

If both my grandmothers had been born just 20 years ago they, no doubt, would have had options they didn’t at their time and chosen another path. I’m sure one of them wouldn’t have married at all, she would have become a writer perhaps and traveled around the world. The other wouldn’t have forfeited her artistic development to raise her children, she would have pursued it in a professional way and not just as a hobby.

I was lucky to be born in my time, I got to choose, no one imposed a mentality of self sacrifice upon me (it’s true they could have refuted this way of thinking but sometimes going against the current and parameters of the time can be very hard). I think a lot about my grandmothers, and great grandmothers, and all the women in my family who precede me. I think about their lives, their unknown sacrifices and how, thanks to them, I get to live my life the way I want, with choices and power and a mind of my own. Hadn’t they lived before me I wouldn’t be here today.

This is a homage to all of their lives, a thank you note for allowing me to get this far and enabling me to live how I want. Because they had but a few choices now I choose everything and every time I can. It’s in their honor that I intend to get far, as if their impulse and strength were given to me through time, looking at me from afar, rooting for me, I hope I make them proud.

A woman and a small child stant on a street surrounded by trees
My mom and her grandmother ca. 1955

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Comments (5)

Felicidades!! Muy lindo todo , gracias!!!🥰🤗❤️👏


May 15

Muchas gracias!! Que bonito !!!😇🥰


May 15



Jul 27, 2023

I was in tears even before playing the video! Recently started watching Bluey and to be honest I am saviouring every episode, making sure not to rush through them. Luce as a kid would have love it too! Without all the sometimes extreme drama cartoons such as "Candy", "Peline" and the anime series called in Spanish "La Ranita Demetan" displayed. I also remember feeling sad and stressed after watching some of them...But Bluey is so not like that. I am sure this is appreciated by kids and parents equally. Cheers to all healthy, innocent and non invasive copying mechanisms! And thanks for sharing this one! 😍

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