Today I went in search of my great grandmother Molly, the one who used to make Baked Barley with Mushrooms. I pushed Ethan in his stroller through the streets of lower Manhattan while he slept, and there, at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge I came upon a forgotten corner of the city where she used to live in 1911 at age 20. The original building is not there anymore. There's a small parking lot, some Chinese men smoking and spitting in the street.
For a little while I walked in her footsteps. That woman I've never met, who died long before I existed. Maybe her DNA is responsible for my long fingers and toes or my rare blood type. Maybe her composition is why I have never broken a bone. Perhaps she is the reason I love pumpernickel.
Today, on my walk, I could see things in the grand scheme. I think it's important not to forget. Even though I never knew her, and know almost nothing about her. It doesn't matter though. Molly came long before me, and three generations later, I'm here because of her.
|Next door, looks like an original building.|
So even if all I do is make her barley with mushrooms, or maybe a rice pudding (certainly she ate that too) I will think of the strong women who came before me. They lived harder lives than me, there is no doubting that. I think that means I can rise to the challenge.
|In Molly's time this was a Jewish Synagogue. It's now a Greek Orthodox Church.|