I have always had a passion for family and since I was 17 have studied with overwhelming fire my family's history. I uncovered a story that proved so powerful I determined to name my daughter after the main character in this history.
My great grandmother Julia was one of the most amazing women in my genealogical line. She was hardworking, selfless, patient, kind and excessively poor. My grandfather, her son-in-law, said she was the best woman he ever knew. Her son loved her so much he insisted upon sharing a burial plot with her that he might rest "in his mother's arms." But that is only the beginning.
Julia had given birth to three children when she found she had a terrible and life threatening disease somewhat akin to cancer. This prevented her having more children and forced her to consider that she might not live to raise those she had. One night she walked alone under a bright full moon, contemplating what to do and agonising over leaving her young children motherless. As she thought, she watched her shadow move before her on the ground. Then she heard the voice.
A man who stood behind her told her to wait until morning and then gather a wild herb called azafran which grows wild in the area surrounding her home in Tuinadepa, Mexico. He instructed her to boil it in a new clay pot that had never been used, drink it each day for seven days and she would be healed. When he finished speaking, she looked back down on the ground and realized that whoever spoke behind her cast no shadow on the earth before her. She turned around to find nothing but empty air. Rushing home she woke her husband and they both waited in anxiety until daybreak when he left to gather the herb.
Seven days later the tumor exited her body and she lived to bear two more girls including her youngest named Catalina, who in her turn bore children and eventually became my grandmother.