THE BIRTH OF A QUEEN
On a frosty night in Boston the man I married walked into our family room and said, “We could move to England for a few years, if you would like.” My Humanities graduate mind and heart felt like they would explode with happiness at this new possibility - and then we were there! – leaving behind the place we had determined we would live and be happy in forever. After living north of London for two years and then moving to California, Washington, Utah and now Santa Barbara, I now, finally, know why.
Katherine the Great, my Katherine the Great, was born there. “Could it be” that she, who has been called, by her family, since she was born, “Queen of the Universe,” had to be? Did she have to literally be born on the land where Queens have ruled for centuries, as a symbol that would breathe up into her soul forever; a place that has called to her ever since, and continued to bring her back, as a student and as a traveler, to her “homeland.” Did she need to know that her name was shared by three of King Henry VIII’s wives, the French Queen, Katherine de’ Medici, two Empresses of Russia, one of the first Christian Saints, Catherine of Alexandria? Did she need to find out later in her life that she is actually a descendant of King Henry VIII and Robert the Bruce? Did her middle name, Rushforth, an Ole 7th Century English surname, “river crossing by the rushbeds,” help her find the hidden path she would have to take in her life? Did her first name need to mean “Pure’? Did her English surname need to mean “Champion?”
THE JOURNEY OF AN AMERICAN QUEEN
Shakespeare’s Polonius said to Laertes, “This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow – as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man…my blessing season this in thee.” We all knew, from the very start, that Katherine had the God-ordained responsibility to the world to be “true to her queenly self.”
A day in the life of the Queen: Four sisters are playing princesses. Katherine is two years old and smaller than most two years olds. She is informed by her eldest sister that she will be playing the part of Princess. She furrows her brow and loudly proclaims across the “land” of our livingroom, “I’m the Queen!” All the sisters immediately agreed that she, indeed, must be The Queen. This is how it all began and Katherine has remained true to this God-ordained mission, to come to earth and forevermore, wherever she is, be The Queen. Her parents and nine other siblings can testify, most assuredly, that she has been “true to herself” all her days. We have been taking royal commands from her since she was tiny and have all been blessed by her power wielded across the years of our lives. Her father said once, “I never have any problems with Katherine because I always do what she says.”
Among friends: There was no toleration for bad language, immodesty or signs of lack of devotion to God. She had the courage to reprimand and encourage in an effort to bring out the best in others.
Going Back: In the sixth grade, Lady (one of her appropriate nicknames) all of a sudden discovered she could not read. Not possible … remember …”I’m the Queen!” Through sacrifice and diligence and a God-sent friend, Katherine began to read. She grabbed hold of her dyslexia and put it out in front of her and “commanded” it to serve her – and it obeyed. This forging through, however, was not done without significant collateral damage---self esteem plummet.
Another “could it be?” - “Could it be” that Katherine needed to have her Queen’s place in the world securely in her heart and emblazoned into her soul to make it through what would be a rocky climb through paths of astonishment and discouragement as she forged her way over the next sixteen years?
… and then I find myself sitting next to my son, whose academic achievements were accomplished with comparative ease, at Katherine’s graduation from college. He looks across at his sister, in a huge field of graduates, and says, “What Katherine has achieved is monumental and makes anything I have accomplished pale into insignificance.” A Bachelors of Fine Arts in English, which would have frightened off any other dislexic mind - but not hers - because she allowed her queenly mind to overrule the voice of the people who were looking up at the castle and saying, “Not possible!” - and now she is conquering new territories to be able to teach English and let her “story” and “champion” spirit bless the lives who will be honored to enter her river crossing through the rushbeds.
Now: Powerful everything. Powerfully influential, powerfully righteous, powerfully bright, spectacularly entertaining, an inspired and inspiring artist, a highly perceptive confidant, deeply loving, endlessly devoted to God and perfectly “true to herself.” Whatever there is to do or be in life, she does it with, and “is” the essence of Magnificence.
It has been our family privilege to watch what can happen when, just “as the night follows the day,” a child is true to God, herself and all mankind.
THE MOTHER’S QUEST
To find out all the “could it be’s”- symbolically and in reality - in our children’s lives – and to look for the miracles and angels – and all that continue to announce into our hearts that the hand of God is everywhere as we strive to teach young ones to find the “self” that God is continually opening “all” our eyes to see. (“Could it be” the entire reason we moved to Seattle was so Katherine could one day be playing with the daughters of Rojean Garnica, a renown reading specialist/therapist. “Could it be” that we moved to England to meet Anita Debney, a revered and trusted friend who is a champion for the betterment of children’s lives, who was first to reveal to the world the reality of Katherine’s great soul.) Could it be, Could it be….
Katherine – Rushforth – Nelson
Pure - Path Finder - Champion