Finally!!! I can introduce myself & my loves to you! Hi!!! I'm Kisha, which is always confusing to my clients who don't know me. People always assume I am Sweet Martha. My business is named after my great grandmothers, Sweet Tonzie & Martha Jane Pettway. Yes, her real name is Sweet. They are my mother's paternal & maternal grandmothers, respectively. Yes, both of their last names were Pettway.
First, I'll tell you a bit about me! I am a middle aged woman obsessed with holistic wellness! I am a part of an extremely large, close family. I was born in Connecticut, but spent every summer in Alabama with my family so I had a wonderful city/country upbringing. I had a very close relationship with my grandmother, Anndoria & her mother, Martha Jane. I knew & loved my grandfather, Smokey I can't say we were very close but we had a relationship. His mother, Sweet Tonzie knew who I was, but I did not know she was my great grandmother until long after she passed away. I didn't have much of a relationship with her except in passing.
I became obsessed with holistic wellness in early 2014 when I enrolled in a health & wellness bachelor's course. One of my first courses was Complementary & Alternative Medicine, which drew me in from the beginning. I was very much interested in holistic wellness & wished to assist my grandmother in her fight against diabetes naturally. She suffered for about 20 years & received dialysis treatments for at least a decade. Unfortunately, she lost her battle in August of 2014. I felt western medicine had failed my grandmother & I needed to help people in ways western medicine could not.
My daughter also had her second son in 2014. He was born with health issues that caused him to have very bad eczema flare ups that western medicine didn't much help with. I began researching & I came up with a cream that would naturally help comfort him during flare ups. In this time I was also somewhat of a family historian. In my family research I learned that both of my great grandmothers were spiritual healers in their own rights in their small hometown of Gee's Bend, Alabama. That is how Sweet Martha's was born!
My great grandmother Martha Jane was the epitome of love to me. I don't remember a time that I wasn't completely enamored of her! She had this knack for making everyone feel safe, special & loved. She birthed 15 children, 13 of which lived. She also raised the majority of her grandchildren, my mother included. She raised A good number of great grandchildren as well, at one point having 26 children of different generations living in her Roosevelt home. She knew all of us by name or parent's name. My cousins and I were all called by our parent's name at times, even though there were thousands of us she knew all of us and who we belonged to. She lived 3 months shy of her 105th birthday. She was sane & lucid all the days of her life. When I was younger we made the 2 hour drive from Prichard, Alabama to Gee's Bend often. My great grandmother had to be moved to Mobile a few years before her passing.
Martha Jane was a famous Gee's Bend quilter, but to us she was just grandma or mama. We had pigs & cows we had to feed & clean up after. We made sick & shut in visits in her community. We spent time with her at the quilting bee where she & the other infamous quilters congregated & created history! I remember countless days sitting at her knee while she told us of our family history & our great grandfather Little who was a force all his own! She always had A quilt thrown over her knees & a thimble on her thumb. There was an endless supply of quilts to be had & you never left Gee's Bend without a new one. She & my great grandmother Sweet were very good friends as they were both Gee's Bend quilters.
My great grandmother Sweet Tonzie was a humble, beautiful soul! A preacher's wife that was loved & adored by her offspring & community! I've heard she had the voice of an angel & made homemade concoctions for ailing family, Church & community members. All of the women in that community made medicine as they were isolated most of their lives from the outside world. Gee's Bend is surrounded on 3 sides by the Alabama river. One way in, one dry way out. 15 minutes to cross the river to the next town, 40 by car which most didn't have back then. Sweet lived on the corner of grandma Martha Jane's road. She sat in her yard often & never hesitated to call me over as I ran past to visit my paternal grandfather's store or my paternal great grandparents' home around the corner. That was the extent of my interaction with her.
It never really occurred to me to ask who she was or why she was interested in me & my hands. "Come here let me look at you, child." That is what she always said to me. She would take my hands in her hands & inspect them. Of course, as a child it was odd to me, but being that the entire community of Gee's Bend is related to me in some form or fashion as a child i didn't really question interactions. She'd give me some hard candy, tell me how pretty I was & send me on my way.
All these years later as an adult I assume she knew as did my Martha Jane. She recognized the healer in me. Spiritual healing is in my DNA. It flows through my veins & was passed down through generations of interactions that I took for granted as a child, but cherish today. It was passed down to me just the same as my eye color, the shape of my nose, my high cheekbones or my inherent strength against adversity. I don't believe I could ever be anything else! I have had the desire my entire life to help people in some way. Even when I don't have anything to give, I have something to offer. Sweet Martha's Holistic Wellness is my tribute to the original spiritual healers of my life, my beautiful angels. I appreciate you all for allowing me to share my gifts & my loves with you. I pray Sweet Tonzie & Martha Jane Pettway will be as much a blessing to you as they have been to me & my family. Thank you for allowing me to share my journey & my loves with you!
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