This morning I went to College Mennonite Church with My Joy and her daughter, her granddaughter and her great granddaughter.I have permission to tell you a little bit of their stories. My Joy was born 85 years ago and is now honored as the oldest surviving member of her immediate family.
My Joy’s daughter attended Hesston College, and like her mother, fell in love with a fellow student. Her mother’s love was a Canadian and the daughter’s love was a Palestinian from the West Bank where his family owned a house and land with olive trees. In the formation of the Israeli nation, his family, as other Palestinian families, was unjustly dispossessed by the Israeli government.
When the struggle between Jews and Palestinians flared anew in 1982 the daughter’s husband felt compelled to return to his homeland where he gave his life with his people.The daughter’s husband’s last contact with his wife was by a letter conveyed through a Mennonite Central Committee worker. The MCC worker was present in the service this morning and memories were stirred.
Christian Peacemaker Teams in the middle East report continuing demolition of Palestinian homes and villages. The teams attempt to stand nonviolently between the oppressed and the oppressor.
But the palestinian’s legacy was not entirely lost by his death. He left a twelve month old daughter to be raised for about eighteen years by her widowed mother.
This woman of the third generation wanted to learn the spanish language so when she heard of a Spanish language course offered in Argentina she went to that country, temporarily, she thought. But for her it was a land of opportunity. She loved and married an Argentinian and they became the parents of the fourth generation of My Joy’s family.
The pictures show their feminine beauty. But they would not be here if it were not for the masculinity of those whom they loved. Men added to the genetic stream that led to the little four year old girl of the fourth generation. I did not know the men but I think of their strengths as I see them in their daughters. They were:
It is no wonder that My Joy’s four year old great granddaughter feels a need to lead. She persuaded her elders to make a “funny picture”. (See picture on the right.)