The YA-YA Candles and Petite Bebe

By Marsha Tennant

Once upon a time, YA-YA’s Cheri and Marsha were on a wine crawl all through the state of Michigan. They lighted candles in every little chapel and church they discovered. The entire state of Michigan was glowing by the time the trip was over…and then you were born.

Fairy tales do come true. The YA-YA candle story is my grandson’s own magical story. From the moment I learned that I would become a grandmother, I have told him the tale. There is no doubt for Cheri and me that we had the power and did not play in summoning the Fertility Goddess and any other matriarchal spirit who happened to be in the area at the time. When Petite Bebe would arrive was not clear, but we knew we had unleashed the stars to align and send his soul to be part of our family. The night that Alice and Preston told us that we were going to be grandparents I just smiled, grabbed my cell phone and called Cheri. “The candles worked,” I whispered in the phone. I heard a quiet but affirmative sigh and then her words, “We did it.” After I hung up the phone I told them the tale. Alice shook her head and smiled. She knew her mama and Cheri well.

The two movies that embody the strong sense of motherly instincts are The Divine Secrets of the YA-YA Sisterhood and Steel Magnolias. These women did not play either. Their tenacity and determination in setting the wheels in motion for their daughters was undaunting. The rituals and spells they conjured up may have been part lore, but no one has ever questioned MAMA power. Living in the Lowcountry has only validated my belief that the lines between magic and reality blur with incredible results.

Waiting was the challenge. My friend of five decades and I knew it was just a matter of when. We watched as Alice traveled through most of her thirties – determined not to settle – but watching her own biological clock tick. Being a mother was important to her, but she would not rush into a relationship merely for the sake of the outcome she longed for. At last…the stars aligned, and the candles burned brightly.

There was another YA-YA in this fairy tale. Her name was Char, Preston’s mother – who left Earth far too early. Her last wish was that her son would be blessed with a Petite Bebe. She had an infectious and playful smile. We knew she reached her hands down from Heaven to stir the stars at just the right moment. Once the spell was unleashed we could feel her presence, so Cheri and I welcomed her into our YA-YA circle.

After telling Preston Blane Bond his story while he was still in his mommy’s tummy, I can hold him at last, kiss his sweet little face and whisper …Once upon a time there were THREE YA-YA’s…

About this writer

  • Marsha Tennant Marsha Tennant is the author of the children’s book, Margaret, Pirate Queen. She was recently published in AARP Bulletin and Mary Jane’s Farm. She and her husband retired and moved to the beach from Calabash in an attempt to downsize and spend time with their new grandson. A second Pirate Queen book is circling while porch sitting these days!

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