Monday, March 11, 2013

HerStory: Tessie: Inspired by Four Generations of Love


March 11, 1953 was a bittersweet day for my grandmother. She welcomed a child she adored, but she was told that her baby might not live. If she did survive, they said she would only be a burden. I am proud to say that my grandmother proved those people wrong. She never lost faith and she raised my Aunt Mena with all the love and respect she deserved. Mena has been a pivotal part of our family for four generations.

1976 - Maryann, Tessie, Mena and Laura
This picture was taken shortly after I was born. Tessie is holding me beside my mother and Mena. I grew up living with all these women and every one of them are a prime example of what a strong woman should be. My mother raised me alone and taught me to be independent. My grandmother not only thrived through the depression but later overcame the stigma of being a divorcee in the forties when it was almost unheard of. 

My cousin Jaimie, Mena -Sometime in the 80's.
My grandmother and Mena taught me some valuable lessons, one of the most important being to have respect for all people, regardless of race, creed, or disabilities. My grandmother's fierce protectiveness of Mena was passed down to me and I'm proud to say I was always the first to stand up to the bullies in the school yard and never shied away from reaching out a hand in friendship to anyone the other kids considered "different".

Laura, Mena & Gabby - 2012
 In 1999, less than a year before the birth of my daughter, my grandmother, Tessie, left this world. As promised, my daughter inherited her name--Gabrielle Theresa Lowe. I have also passed the lessons Tessie taught me down to my children. I am always proud to see them stand up for others and more than once I swear I saw my grandmother's soul mirrored in my daughter's eyes. She certainly loves her Great Aunt Mena just as much as Tessie did.

March 2013

Today it has been exactly sixty years since Mena came into the world. Even though my grandmother left us long ago, her lessons stay with us. Not only is Mena no burden on our family,  she is the glue that holds us together. In her innocence, she has taught us all the importance of unconditional love. Happy Sixtieth Birthday, Mena! You are the angel who watches over us on earth while Tessie watches us all from above!

If  you would like to learn more about Tessie and dozens of other strong women, real and fictional, throughout history, grab a copy of the HerStory Anthology.  Copies are available on Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.


  1. This is so inspirational and touching. I love that her grandmother taught her the amazing ability to love all people the same and to have tolerance. This post made me tear up a bit and it just reminds me to instill the same great values in my children as Tessie did in her and others in their family.