There is an old Indian saying: 'If you have but one drop of Native American blood in your veins, one day it will cry out for expression'. No one personifies those words more than Grandmother Two Bears.
Grandmother Two Bears was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When she was five years old, her father moved the family from the country to a typical Philadelphia row home. The move was like an imprisonment to her. Small as she was, she knew she would have to accept the city environment, but her burning tears said she would never have to like it.
It was in kindergarten that her resentment first surfaced. Her refusal to participate or interact with the other children brought her a stern reprimand from the school principal, whom she promptly bit.
At age twelve, Grandmother refused to run when a city boy threatened her with a .22 rifle, leaving her to limp home with a bullet in her left knee. Years later she would learn that the same boy fought in World War II and returned home without his legs.
Grandmother completed her public school education and graduated with honours, all the while a loner, and never attending one school function other than the graduation ceremony.
The education she really wanted she found, early on, in the library. Every moment she could spare was spent surrounded by books. They were her true friends. With them, she could share the secret life she dreamed about and felt in her heart. In addition to her study of Native Americans and the West, she read about animals and astronomy. Her love of books and research remains with her to this day, as well as her love of languages, both German and French.
In the late teens when her interest in Native Americans led her to the hobby of beadwork, her father decided to reveal to her that her great-grandmother on his side was of Sioux descent. DNA was unknown then, but the revelation certainly seemed to explain her many dreams and being so different from the rest of the family.
Many adventures lay ahead for Grandmother, as she kept busy, trying to quell the feelings that her Indian blood was too remote for it to become a real part of her life.
Grandmother excelled at horseback riding and even taught it, until an accident left her with a fractured spine. She never lost her love of horses. In time she would own forty-seven acres of land in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, which she shared with four-quarter horses and an appaloosa named Cochise.
Innocently, Grandmother posted her land as a refuge for wild animals, even injured bears. Angered at an 'outlander' for posting a prized hunting spot, the locals made life very uncomfortable for her. When threats turned to shots, it was time to leave. As with the horses, she never lost her love of the Great Smokies.
Fate eventually took her to Texas, just in time to raise her own beloved grandchildren. Christy and Rex, whom she legally adopted when they were infants. She is the only mother they have ever known, and she is their 'Mom' to this day. Grandmother's formula of keeping life busy resulted in their posing as 'Hansel and Gretel' on a float in a Dallas, Texas New Year's parade. Guess who was the witch?
Another time, she proudly watched as her children sang German Folk songs for the President of West Germany during the opening day of the Texas State Fair.
Grandmother Two Bears says, "After sixty years of running away, I am back in Pennsylvania where I started out. Ironically, it wasn't until I returned, that I found what I was looking forů.a place to express my Indian feelings."
That 'place' is the Eagle Clan, where she is a much loved and respected Elder.
If anyone has ever walked the Medicine Wheel, it is Grandmother Two Bears.
This story and many mores stories are now available in the new book The Story Teller by Grandmother Two Bears. To order the Grandmother Two Bears book, use the following button.
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