I’m going for an ovarian cyst biopsy this afternoon. My intuition has been telling me it is fine, firmly, repeatedly. But I have been scared all week. I took some medication this morning that softens the cervix, and it totally gave me what we call ‘splosions, a headache, cramps. I always like to wear the right thing for any occasion — and I like to keep it vibrant and unexpected — so for this inauguration day nearly-crapped pajama pants and a cervix ready to roar seem like exactly the right outfit. I didn’t get a pussy hat in time, but this will do.
Instead of focusing on this man who is slated to “lead” us, I focus on the myriad strong women who bolster me again and again, from women I've yet to meet, to my sisters, to my friends marching today and tomorrow (myself included — don’t forget to look inside at that hugely bright divine feminine spirit we’re all sporting as well. Certainly a better look than nearly-crapped pajama pants).
My Grandmother — Granny Bunny Mikus, Gramma — was one of my favorite people and a huge inspiration to me. Her birthday is this month. This past summer I went to see Karen Noé, a renowned psychic medium, and Granny Bunny was one of the first to come through, and she was with my mom, of course.
“She wants you to know she uses her energy to go inside the cardinals to let you know she’s around, but not just cardinals,” Karen told me. This made me really happy. Also: women are magic. Last year, when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, my sister bought me a bird feeder, which pumped a lot of energy and life (and, yeah, sticky white poop) onto our brick patio in Cambridge. As time went on we ended up with more and more cardinals, which have always reminded me of Granny Bunny — she loved all beings, feeding peanuts to chipmunks and, during the Great Depression, dinners and pies to hobos. So to hear Granny was, as I had suspected, bringing the cardinals ‘round, I smiled. One day I probably had eight pairs of those beautiful red birds on my patio. And sometimes (more and more, it seems) you have to believe in support wherever you can get it.
I’m thinking a lot about inspiring women as I watch all of my female friends get ready to march today and Saturday to protest our current state of Presidential pussy-grabbing affairs and the inauguration. The number of women I’ve seen gearing up to protest has been heartening as much as frustrating as fuck that we even need to do this. But this is what we do. Your sharing your hearts has made me cry, your kids with their pussy hats on makes me smile, I'm lucky to know you.
And we have the strength and thousands of years of DNA, actual stardust, and the bolstering of all the generations of women who have come before us, whether they’re related to us or not. The reality is we are powerful, whether shitty men are trying to diminish that power or not. The power is real and it is in us.
Hey, if my Grandma can communicate with me from beyond to tell me she loves me and acknowledge the beauty of the cardinal, we can march. We can lead with love and continue to break away at the old way. And the thing is, even if it wasn't real, it is love that keeps us afloat. Even the memory of love is more powerful than a real live asshole.
My Granny’s husband — my mother’s father — was troubled. He was an alcoholic who had a hard time holding a job and maintaining his life, let alone a marriage with four kids. He died when my mother was 16. I think often about how far we’ve come, even in a few generations, when I consider something my Granny said about her husband: “He was very drunk that night when he got home and that’s the night your uncle was conceived.”
She glossed over it. The fact that he came home stinking drunk and she let him have sex with her anyway. And she sure didn’t sound like she was into it when she told me. She just told me matter-of-factly, like that’s just what you do as a wife.
It’s a wonder any of us manage to have healthy attitudes toward our bodies and sex considering how broken our whole system is. But regardless of what she had going on at home, my Granny was ebullient, helpful, hardworking, and wonderful. Did I mention strong? She was nothing short of amazing, as we are. If my Granny could be incredible and inspire generations during a time when marital rape was considered just the order of the day, we can do it now.
Some assholes might believe we deserve no healthcare, or to be grabbed, and yeah, one has also become our president (for fuck’s sake). But we and our loved ones and our ancestors have seen a lot worse. This isn’t to suggest we should put up or shut up or say “it’s not that bad.” Nothing of the sort. Just that if my Granny was equipped to take care of her own daughter when she died, or manage to be the awesome woman she was even after what she endured at home, we can come together and keep our hard-won progress moving along. Right, Granny?
Right, ladies? Right.
I’m with you. I love you. I see you. Your grandmother sees you. You are magic.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
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