I recently found my maternal great-grandmother Aurea’s name on a 1911 “Arriving Passenger & Crew List, New York, U.S.” list on Ancestry.com. She came from Spain with her father & older sister when she was 14 years old and was married within six months.
I know, it takes my breath away also.
The memories I have with my great-grandmother were when my Brownie troop visited her convalescent home. She had reverted to only speaking Spanish, but her eyes would light up each time I entered her room. She would hold my hand tightly but lovingly with her very soft hands as she spoke to me in a language I could not understand.
She has been in my dreams for a few months and comes to me during my ‘Morning Pages’ journaling. I cannot see her face, but I can feel her soft hand in mine, and I clearly see my grandmother Felisa standing next to her. She answers my questions and guides me back to my truth when I am questioning my role as a mother, daughter, woman, and healer.
Below is an excerpt from my Master’s in Education thesis where I focused on English learners and creating equitable education plans:
“Every story has a beginning, and mine begins with my great-grandparents and great-uncle who emigrated from Spain and Portugal. My ancestors came to America seeking a better life, similar to most immigrants. Because of their sacrifices and determination, I have access to educational opportunities and prosperity. It is my social responsibility, as well as my aspiration, to offer students the possibilities that have been afforded to me. I hope to instill a sense of self-worth, a love of learning, and an optimistic outlook for their future selves.”
People often ask me what I’m doing now that I am no longer in education. I’m still fulfilling my soul’s purpose – nurturing, educating, connecting others, and helping people heal.
This chapter is focused on women as I believe those who courageously follow their truth live more soulful lives. And when women gather together in community, it is the catalyst for tremendous growth and opportunities for future generations.
Aurea Ocarriz Arraibi Laca (1896 – 1987)
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