Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's almost October 1st (Grandmother's Birthday)

My sweet cousin sent me a number of old photographs of my grandmother and grandfather. She took the time to scan them and sent me nice jpegs. Looking through all the pictures I can see happy and not-so-happy expressions in her face and in his. I am better able to write the narrative now that I have a husband and child of my own. I can see the tensions and frustrations…the thinness from starvation and worry, the fatness later from having unmarked time with an empty nest and not much else to do. If I only knew then what I know now, my relationship to my grandmother would have been very different. Not that I was bad to her in any way, but I understand so much more now about how difficult life is. How happiness and family don’t solve all the problems, how complicated it is to raise a kid (or 4 kids in her case) and have a marriage—always bending, always giving in, giving up—trying so hard often in vain.

In her later years, the years that I knew her best, she was mostly relaxed (or more relaxed) and would treat herself often to shopping trips and sundaes, Mexican lunch with the girls. She would sit and put her feet up. I am so glad she did. I know how long the days are raising kids left alone in a house with a baby—chasing, chasing, rescuing, preventing. We all deserve to put our feet up; to eat sundaes; to rest, to sing, to laugh, to try new things, to have joy!

I miss my grandmother as much in my memory as in real life. I wish her here sometimes to talk to me again, to tell me secrets—I wish I could rub her shoulders and feet and pepper her cheeks with kisses. She would get such elation from my daughter—so funny and full of life.

Thank you cousin for the pictures.

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