The Granddaughter.

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Studying the lines purposely ingrained on my grandmother’s bed ridden face, I begin to see her face as a map, a path, a distance traveled and a life lived. The contour lines circling and encompassing, inform and remind me of the tragedies encountered, the murders, the rapes, and the lives taken gruesomely in the hands that rose in fearful pride during WW2. As her eyes rest, her breathing faint, I can’t escape the outlines of her defining jaw. Her infamous cheekbones have been worn like an asset, a prize, and a trophy. She passed the beauty of that onto a pedestal, a pedestal in which she put herself on, not on purpose, but by prejudice. It was the prejudice to survive and to save; to save herself from the snares of Hitler’s regime. It was a way to preserve herself from the New World’s biases and judgments and to keep her safe from the religious condemnations. She was not only a woman, but an orphan, a refugee, my descendant. A bloodline, saturated in richness, has clothed my bloodline like a gypsy, a disguise, an impostor. My grandmother, a victor and a mystery, can be compared to the outlines of her features. As I trace the same lines on my own face, I realize an approval I fought so hard for, maybe never to be given. A name, I lost, but a face I wear. My grandmother she is and her granddaughter I am. The lines lead to the inevitable chaos. To survive is to live and to live is to survive, and we do and we will. We continue to follow the maps from one bloodline to another, from one descendant to another, and from one hope to another until the dreams passed down reveal the mysteries and secrets hidden in the dark from one lifetime to another.

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