I called my mother this morning, as I do, on my way home dropping the Mini off from camp. She sounded kind of annoyed when I called. Figuring my father probably left crumbs on the counter or put dirty dishes in a dishwasher full of clean dishes again, I asked her what was wrong. I was not prepared, however, for the response.
I was pretty blown away. It wasn’t the answer I was expecting, well, ever.
And I’m not really sure how I feel.
Am I remorseful that I didn’t have a relationship with her as I got older? I’ve written before, that my grandmother wasn’t exactly a nice woman. She wasn’t mean, but she was just, well.. stubborn. Stubborn, German, opinionated. She had a tough childhood. She grew up in an orphanage at a time when orphanages were run by strict nuns, who thought children should be seen, not heard. Because of this, she felt the world owed her. What I’m not sure. Pity?
Because of our similar personalities, we clashed. When I was younger, she said some choice words to me, which caused me to tell her right where she could stick it. Being 13, I was a pretty defiant and stubborn ass in my own right, but it doesn’t excuse what she said to me, and I stand by that. Because of this, she never forgave me, I don’t think, and because of her harsh way of talking to people, I never really felt the need to reach out to her. When I was younger, however, we were close and because of this, I’m not sure if I feel bad because I never mended that fence, and she was the only grandparent I ever knew and had a relationship with.
Then there’s feeling bad for my mother. Because of all mentioned above, my mother has had her own tumultuous relationship with her over the years, and because of this, she chose to not really see her or deal with her. I know that my mother is hurting. I know she loved her mother despite everything, and is going to be dealing with a lot of her own shit in the next few weeks, months and the rest of her life.
And of course there’s the fact that a death in the family, especially one of a close relative, forces you to not only to realize your own mortality, but the mortality of your own parents. As my parents get older, I know they’re not going to be around forever and it’s hard to deal with not having your parents around. Funny for me to say that, after everything I’ve been through with them. My mom and I are friends. She loves my kids as much as I do, and does a lot for us. Not having her around would be hard for me.
Lastly, my grandmother died alone. As we all do, I guess, but her death was sudden and unexpected. She died in her apartment, and because she lived by herself, it wasn’t discovered for a couple of days. Which is bothersome. I couldn’t imagine dying like that.
So R.I.P, Grandma.