Generational Influence

"I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you." 2 Timothy 1:5

Mama Paolita


Every Saturday she came, her shopping bag full of goodies--chocolate bars, chocolate layer cake, orange slices, marshmallow cookies or jelly beans. Sometimes there would be new clothes she made herself, or shoes. If we were sick with a fever or a sore throat we’d hide. We knew she had a needle in that bag, to give us a penicillin shot. Yet, somehow she always fooled us and we’d end up--bottom up and the quick pinch!

Mama Paolita, my father's mother, was bigger than life. She was always dressed to the hilt, hair perfectly coiffed, nails done. It didn’t matter that she had just taken two different subways to get to us, she came looking none the worse for her travels. She was bossy and I remember a time I sassed her, telling her she wasn’t my mother. “I’m your grandmother and that makes me two times your mother!” “Huh” was all I could say. Oh my.

I smile when I remember I always wanted to be just like her--beautiful, fearless, and independent. She had a reverent awe of Jesus Christ, her Savior. We wouldn’t dream of speaking casually of Him in front of her. 

One day I found out what made her the way she was. Tears streamed down my face as my Mama Adela (my mother's mom) told me her story. My dad’s mom was an orphan, hired out at the age of nine as a servant. At the age of ten, she was raped and bore a baby boy, my uncle Ricky. My grandmother refused to be a victim. I’m not sure how or when, but she became a midwife and delivered babies in the backwoods of Puerto Rico. She learned how to give shots and vaccinated many against Tuberculosis.

When she saved up enough money she moved to New York City with my uncle David and my dad. She worked hard, she loved without restraint (married three times) and she made no excuses for who she was.

She was kind and gentle, yet strong. She loved to laugh and did it often. She was generous with her time and money and she taught her son, Josue G Cruz, to work hard, take responsibility for what he did and to love the Lord his God with all his heart, mind, soul and strength--to trust Him no matter what. It wasn’t Gods fault when bad things happened--He stood with you when they did. She knew that first hand. 

I’m glad I remembered her today. There is a new generation that needs to know about this ancestor who shaped the man they know as Popi. She was my superhero when I was growing up and, at least in my eyes, the original Wonder Woman!

Grandparents, don’t think you have little or no influence on your grandchildren. I’m a Christian because my parents prayed for me, trusting in the Lord to soften my heart. My father believed in Jesus Christ because his mother’s faith in the face of adversity made her who she was.

"Hear o Israel the Lord Our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children you shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way when you lie down and when you rise."  Deuteronomy 6:4 - 7

by Eve Montano