Today would have been my grandmother’s birthday…she was the one who actually called me SAM and we called her Wheezer…she was a smoker, cantankerous and had the biggest smile for most everyone. She was my Dad’s mom and had a rough go of it being a single mom.
She always made me feel very important to her and there weren’t and haven’t been a lot of people that have done that for me. In her declining years, it broke my heart when she couldn’t remember my name, and her memories started to fade. I struggled with it a lot. Much like I do now, since my Dad is showing these signs. I swallow it a lot easier than I did then, I suppose age will do that to you. I suppose the fact that my Dad hasn’t always been all that nice to me is part of it too.
When I was a teenager and wanted to run away to live with him, to feel some sense of a normal life – he told me no. That there was no room for me. You can’t imagine how badly that hurt me. After knowing that he’d signed his rights away when I was 8, much to the prodding of my mother – I know – and then refusing to give me some semblance of normalcy when my mom went to the looney bin for the third time in my life. I can’t even pretend I’ve ever gotten over that. Don’t get me wrong…I do love my Dad, there have also been a handful of times I’ve asked him for help and he DID, and was my savior in those instances. I do believe at least, that he has always meant well..
Addendum: In rereading this post, when I ended it, there were several thoughts in my head, bringing me to tears and I couldn’t bear to write more at the time. I want to add that I feel that I am most like my grandmothers, as both of my parents were bent on control and control by fear. I believe that Wheezy, my Dad’s mom, knew the circumstances in my life very well and while we never discussed them, I think she inherently knew that I needed her softness, her humor and the strength she hid in her humor. My grandma was a tough lady, and I knew more about that strength after she passed than I ever recognized while she was alive. Sad for me, but I’ve always said that it’s better to see truth later than never. I comicly say that I am a self-improvement junkie – I read mountains of blog posts, articles, etc. on self improvement and the most helpful thing I’ve ever read was “This is It” by Augusten Burroughs. It was a powerful novel and brought me to weeping several times. But they were healing tears and I will no doubt read it countless more times as life is a series of comedy and tragedies that we have to live through.
You don’t struggle with this alone.