Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Are you still a daughter when there is no one left to mother you? I've never been one for Hallmark Holidays but golly does this Mother's Day make me fell all wonky.

I keep thinking that I'm forgetting about Grandma. That the phone call wasn't real. That she is laying there in the hospital all alone and wondering if I forgot about her. I keep thinking that I will stop by to say hello on my way to school or the market or wherever. I'm not a wallowing mess but I am sad. Quietly sad. I suppose I would be more sad if I wasn't sick right now. The last time I was this sick, I was 22. It's been a long time. I waffle between fever and chills and simply ache all over. This could be a combo stress/sick thing. I do that. Get sick when I am stressed. With Grandma gone, I feel a little scared. I feel as if my mother's memory is even further away than before. I'm mourning my mom all over again. Even though it was me taking care of granny, her presence alone made me feel safe and taken care of. I had been taking care of Grandma since I was 28. How young that is. Actually, when I was 22, Grandma broke her hip and needed to have a live in of sorts. I moved in to help her out. She lived on the second floor of an old cranky building without an elevator. It took a long time for us to get up and down those stairs. We had doctor's appointments, physical therapy and shopping to do. She could be very, very cruel back then. It hurt. A lot of the words she hurled, hurt. Even then, I thought how lonely her life must have been. She never had any friends. I never knew the name of any one friend of hers. She was a suspicious lady. She was mean and opinionated and prejudiced.

There was an incident, a turning point of sorts for the three of us. My mother, grandmother and I. She was getting ready to go holiday shopping. I decided to head out and get my mom, fill the car with gas and come back to pick her up. The gas station took forever and we got back a little later than she expected and boy, howdy did she pull out the big guns. She was awful. Mean spirited and very angry and I couldn't take it anymore. So I yelled. I'm not really a yeller. I don't like feeling angry. Anger eats you up and it isn't worth it. I told her that she was a hard, cruel woman. That no matter how hard and good we all tried she couldn't accept it and what could we do? I told her I loved her but that I wasn't going to allow her to be mean to me anymore and I burst into tears and ran down those creaky, awful steps. I sat myself down onto a stone bench and bawled myself silly. My mom appeared and sat down next to me. She put her hand on my shoulder and whispered "Thank You". My mom had always wanted to tell her those things but couldn't. My heart filled up with sadness for her. For the both of them.

The thing is, I understand why Grandma was mean. I'm not excusing it, but I understand. It took my mother's passing and a lot of work on my part to loosen the lady up with love and kindness and honesty. I was there for her but I wasn't going to accept her being mean. When she said unkind things I left. I told her I would be back but it would be longer than usual because I needed time to "recover" from her words. I never coddled her. We argued, often. I never responded cruelly to her. I told her how her words and actions felt to me. Through it all. I was there. I might not have been there as often as she wanted me to but eventually she grew kinder. She started to smile. I don't think I ever saw her smile when I was a child. She became thoughtful. She asked questions to learn more about others. She became more "tolerant" of those different than herself. At her end, she developed a reputation for being the nicest, sweetest person. I am so grateful that she had the opportunity to be loved by others outside her family. She made friends and she made people smile. Good for you Grandma, good for you!

So, today is Mother's Day. What a capper to the horrid week I've had. Grandma is gone, I've been sick. I had to apply for an extension on my paper and that makes me feel like a failure. To put a cherry on top of it all. The ipod was stolen out of my car when I was at school the day after Grandma died. It's just an ipod, who cares, but really, people still actually take things that don't belong to them. Enjoy your new ipod you thief. It's a first generation ipod so have fun finding a cord that will fit and until then, enjoy all the Skiffle, Nick Cave and Patsy Cline you can. You probably threw it away anyway you skeezy thieving person.

Bother. I apologize for the rant and sadness floating about the blog as of late. It will get better, I promise. The picture up there is of my Grandma and my Mamos around 1948-49. Easter. I wish you all well and if you are a Mom, Happy Mother's Day.


  1. oh Jek you beautiful chick you
    love and light to you xx

  2. Aww Jek, I'm so sorry. Your words resonated with me because I too had a sometimes grouchy grandma whose words left scars but who I still loved. I'm sorry for your loss and for all that you're dealing with right now. Take care.

  3. thank you justine and KB, your words help me a lot, like honest hugs. thank you.

  4. You must be such an amazing person, to find the balance between being loving to a grouchy gran and to not take any crap. I admire your strength and your clarity on your family dynamics. I hope your heart heals a little more each day and thankyou for such a great post and blog in general.

  5. Jek, this is a fantastic entry.
    Sad + lovely.
    Yes, that's what it is...

  6. sniffle-
    what a touching tale-
    thanks for telling it!

  7. Heather J3:39 PM

    Jek, just delurking to say how sorry I am for your grief. May you process it in the fullness of your own time to do so. I also wanted to say how very, very beautiful and precious you must have been to your Mamos, to say those things to your Granny that your Mamos wished she could say. I can relate to Mother's Day sadness in the same way you describe, but oh, honey, you will always, always be your Mamos' girl, she will feel close again when the grief of losing your Granny shifts and eases ... loving in the way that you do shows she is part of you right now.

    I wish you much, much healing and love x.

  8. Stopping by to see how things are. I didn't know all the struggles! Feel better! I understand the love/hurt relationship with a grandma. Right after college at 24 I moved back home with my mom to care for my grandmother. I didn't get to do all the fun rewarding new job things most graduates do. For over a year I helped with therapy, house duties, etc. We bickered and disagreed on many issues. I finally had to move out. My mom understood and when grandma got so ill she went to a hospital I'm glad to say she and I had some time to reconcile. The 1st few months after her passing were hard. We didn't agree on many things but we still cared for each other.

    Finals will be over son, you'll be healthy again and things will be ok again.

  9. Oh, Jek. I've been out of the loop lately, so I didn't know your grandma had passed. I'm so sorry. You're a lovely person.