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The Old Oak of my Matriarch

Song of Sophia Student Samantha Stokes wrote this beautiful tribute to her grandmother, Helen Cynthia Stokes, and to the matriarchal roots of our Great Mother.  Samantha is a mother of two, an artist, and a preacher woman for the Goddess in the fertile forests of the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.



My grandmother lived near 300 year old oak trees in the city of roses. She took care of the people in her community and was a mother to many. 


My grandmother was both rose blossom and a sharp thorn on the bright green stem. 


My grandmother knew how to cook and kept her faith fires hot. 


My grandmother was psychic and heard the truth through everything. she listened. she tended. she weaved and she mended. She left a legacy of true love and filled an entire church for her funeral ceremony. 


My grandmother was called Fatgranny and she passed away on the last full moon/lunar eclipse, 10/28/23. Her name was Helen Cynthia Stokes, maiden name Harvel. She was the daughter of a woman named Cynthia Harvel, another Matriarch. 


I have some incredibly inspiring grandmothers and I gained an ancestor this year, my beloved Fatgranny. She got to pass and complete her walk on this earth in her own bed at home, with her kids by her side, and my cousin, her granddaughter at her feet, holding her hand. She was and always will be so loved and cherished by our family. 



I didn’t take any pictures while we were all together celebrating her life this weekend, but when we stopped by to visit with Big Oak on the way home, I got out my phone to remember this moment in time. 


This tree is rooted near my Fatgranny’s house and it’s 338 years old. It’s seen my family walk these lands for as long as they’ve been here. 


I’m thanking God for the beauty and preciousness of this life, death and regeneration. Prayers up, down and all around for a peaceful and grace filled death for my Lady, Helen. I’m honored to have her with me always, in my heart and in my blood and bones.