In memory of my late grandmother
In honor of my late Grandmother and three generations of strong women who fought for our freedom.
My Indigenous grandmother lived with us untill my age of 12. After we went to Suriname (South-America) to visit our family and relatives she couldn’t return with us, because she got a stroke. So she stayed behind with my mother’s youngest sister and her husband.
My grandmother always shared her stories with me. Stories about my family, our history and gave me all kind of advices. One of the things she spoke about was the importance to stand up for the rights of others who are oppressed and to help those who have less than us.
It was years later that I realized how special it was after family and relatives started to ask me about our family and our history, telling me that they know that Granny must have told me and it’s very special if you know that my grandparents had 87 grandchildren and I’m one of the youngest, number 83 so to say.
I was 16 years old and in Suriname again when I saw my Grandmother for the last time, two months before she passed in to the spirit world. Every day I went to her room and sat at the foot of her bed to have our daily conversations. My grandmother was practically almost blind at that time and could only see the difference between dark and light. On the last day of my stay she called me to her room. When I wanted to sit she said to me: “No please I want you to sit here”, pointing at the floor next to her wooden rocking chair. I did and she put her hand on my head and stroked me and said: ” You my granddaughter, the lightest (of skin color) of all my grandchildren and born in freedom, never forget that three generations of our women have fought for their freedom and ours. Promise me that you will never become a slave to anyone.”
I made my promise, although at that moment I didn’t realize what she meant exactly. I was to young. It was when I became older that I understood what she meant to say to me and she was absolutely right. She didn’t mean a slave who was chained, but a slave of society and the people around us.
In our modern days we are only focused on status, money and power, driven by what society expects of us and totally forgot what it’s really all about in life. We have lost our connection to ourselves and everything around us.
So Granny through my Growing Seeds Worldwide Foundation (GSWF) I will keep my promise to you, because it’s time for changes and I will mention your names so you will not be forgotten.
In memory of my late grandmother:
Petronella Amelie MacDonald (Suriname – march 2, 1896 – nov 1, 1982)
Sophia van Bunschoten (MacDonald)
Petronella Helena Felter (MacDonald)
Wilhelmina Josephina van Dal (Wong Swie San)