Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Cora Anderson!

Today's post is an updated reprint from last year. Happy Birthday Cora. What is remembered, lives.

Victor and Cora
Today would have been Grandmaster Cora Anderson's 97th birthday, had she not passed on Beltaine four years ago.

She was an amazing, gracious woman who taught me quite a bit as I got to know her in her last year of life. I was beginning my training in the Faery Tradition when I heard the call that she needed frequent visitors. I went almost once a week for the last year of her life and got to know her. She generously shared stories with me about the Craft, her late husband Victor, other initiates in the tradition, and lore. She answered my many, many student questions with humor and folksy wisdom.

Her hospitality was legendary. While her husband could be somewhat of a hothead, she always insisted that anyone in their home (jerk or not) was shown hospitality and generosity. That did not stop her from having very pointed opinions about people however- and the Cora I knew loved to gossip about it later!

I also learned about grace under pressure from Cora. Her entire life she had been a strong, practical woman, supporting her family with hard labor and caring for her husband and son. After a series of strokes that left her mostly bedridden, she made due with life in her mind and on the astral. She would often talk about dreams visiting Victor and how she was sad to wake into the same hospital bed (at home). While her body had stopped working the way she wanted, she lived a full life in her final years- the way a powerful Witch should.

The Cora I knew- I took this photo.
She still had very particular ways she wanted things, and as a caregiver and visitor, I strived to do things the way she wanted- giving her the ability to arrange her world as she desired it, even if her body could not make her Will manifest anymore.

Cora's favorite food was pie. In the end, when she was unable to eat lots of foods, chocolate cream pie was still a favorite and I would bring her some from time to time.

Cora hosted Thanksgiving in her home for the Tradition, even after being bedridden. There were always several varieties of pie. At her funeral service, people brought dozens of varieties and people ate pie in her honor. The year after she died, my former Craft home in the Bay Area (Casa Vesperus) hosted a "Cora Pie Day" on her birthday.

Another pic of Cora and Victor.
I miss her very much. When I first started to visit her, I thought that I was doing her a favor. Our visits were awkward at first, since we did not know one another before her strokes. By the end, when I was visiting her in the hospital (the last time I saw her was April 30, 2008- the day before she died), we were friends and I knew I was going to miss her terribly. I do.

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