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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

Blessings from my ancestors

Updated: Jan 29

The other day I passed by this house in Cascais, Portugal and immediately when I saw the sign on it, I felt deeply moved.

It's a common name, Maria, I wear it too as my second (third at birth), but to me it means my Polish grandmother Maria Pietrzak, besides Mother Mary. I haven't dared thinking about my grandmother for real, more than what I've shared in my first book, until last year, when I was in Germany. She was rescued by the Swedish White buses from the prison-camps Birkenau and Ravensbrück after WWII, leaving her two sons behind in Poland. She passed away in 1979 of a heartattack in the kitchen. The same year I shrunk and started feeling nauseous often. Perhaps she took a piece of my soul with her, too afraid after what she had gone through, and after my Dad had called her, paranoid, for being afraid of Nazis coming for her again. Maria was always scared that they/the police would take my mother, or her, again. She was also afraid of taking showers and did laundry for wealthy families. Anyway, this the other day, I suddenly felt connected to her in my heart and the memories I have of her and my Swedish grandfather Uno, who died in 1984. 

It was when I saw this color, it clicked why I felt blessed wearing it the first summer I received my grant from the Swedish House of Nobility in 2015. She must indeed be wanting me well from heaven. Just like my grandfather likes me to go for a walk in the woods again, and of course to never go hungry.

Here is a photo of her that I found online. Unfortunately, I lost or had to let go of my belongings when I lost my home in 2009, so I don't have any photos left myself.

And what is it that I am worthy of receiving more or?

Alegre means cheerful in Portuguese.

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