Just when I think I’ve got it bad, you know, the deep and endless sadness of loss, I discover I’m not alone. I went out to get the mail today and walked to the boxes with my neighbor, Ann, who is 93 years old. She asked me how I was doing, and when I was going back to Davis for my husband’s service. So we chatted, standing in the new snow, a little chilly. She told me she’s just been experiencing the most horrible two weeks of her life. I braced myself. Her sixty-three year old son passed away from Lymphoma. He was her only child. She moved here from Davis to be close to him and his family. She said, “Nobody should have to bury their own child.” Damn right, Ann, nobody.
Oh, the burdens we carry.
I couldn't sit with her just then, but I will go by later today. I’ll ask her to tell me about her son, what he was like as a boy, where did he go to school, that sort of thing. I will be crying right along side her.
Life does go on, though, doesn’t it? (Thankfully.) I had the family over for Sunday dinner and though Eden was sullen after his haircut (it’s a thing with him) he perked up when Lucy jumped into his lap. My ex came, too. It’s very nice to be friends with him again after all the acrimony of 29 years ago. He’s so good with the grands, and my daughter is beyond happy that her children get to be with both their grandparents on a regular basis.
My parents were pretty hands off when it came to grand parenting. My sisters and I were upset about it, but there was nothing to do. It caused me so much anguish over the years, softened only by the knowledge that her paternal grandparents were very loving and involved in her life.
I am happy to break the cycle in my family of origin, and be a very different kind of grandparent to my grands.
Steve and his first wife were pretty hands off as well. He didn’t spend any kind of real time getting to know his grand kids, and these kids are delightful. He spoke lovingly of them, and he was proud of their accomplishments. But involved? No.
The layers of grief and resentment his children feel are slowly revealing themselves. Here I was, grappling with his abandonment of me, but they have a life-time of resentment over his abandonment of them and then their children.
It’s most difficult to square in my mind, how someone can be so loving and connected, seemingly open hearted and sensitive to life’s joys, but push away the very people who would add such richness to their lives.
We are a complicated lot.
Here’s a pretty photo of the sunrise the other day. I stepped outside to my very cold front patio to get this picture. I did it all for you, dear Reader.
Monday, March 2, 2020
We Are a Complicated Lot
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Life, family, love are all complicated things. We used to live in tribal communities, grandparenting (and something called "aunting behavior") was a common practice while the parents were off gathering and hunting. With the disintegration of the very fabric that held us intact, we have to make it up as we go along. Nuclear family is the perfect name for how it blew up how we lived for the longest, longest time. Not all of us have the skills, the desire, the motivation to parent or grandparent. Not sure why... it just is. Still the sun rises every morning and turns the sky colors that lift our crazy human hearts.ReplyDelete
yes, yes, and yes.ReplyDelete
Wise words. I was fortunate to have a very close and loving relationship with my maternal grandparents and I am blessed to have (at last) a grandchild of my own with whom I am building a similar relationship. What joy!ReplyDelete
Hi Tara, I'm a new reader who came for a visit from Robin's blog. After posting that I was looking for new blogs to read, several folks suggested I check out blogs they read, and that's how I arrived. I'm sad to read about your friend's loss and sure she will appreciate your visit and tears will flow as expected. it is indeed fortunate that your grandchildren can know both their grandparents who were able to lay aside any differences after many years. I also enjoyed your photo as I'm also a fellow photographer. I will be reading some of your previous posts but most likely won't comment on all. And, I invite you to drop in to my blog for a visit as comments are also welcomed and very much appreciated. if it's OK with you I would also like to add your blog to my sidebar so I can reference it easily.ReplyDelete
A complicated lot. Very true.ReplyDelete
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