Sunday, October 12, 2014. I find myself for the first time in my adult life that I know of LONGING for the touch of my grandmother’s hand. Longing for the sound of her voice speaking softly to me of NOTHING that has ANYTHING to do with the crazy abusive life I lived with her daughter, my so-sick mother whose illness made her so hate me. I want my GRANDMA.
Long dead. Since June 1971 when I was 19 years old.
Grandmother’s kindness to me could not reach me very often. Mother did not allow it. By the time we left Grandmother behind in Los Angeles when we tore off for Alaska when I was five there was very little Grandma could do to ever help or soothe me. Yet I can imagine why memories of tenderness from her are surrounding me now. Body memories, as most of our earliest most important memories always are. Being a grandmother myself has blessings but it also has some very difficult challenges that I cannot write about here. It has been a difficult week, a difficult day today as I try to sort out what it is I CAN do to live the love I have for my family.
Love is often a “working love.” It is not passive. It is not always soft and cushy and easy. Tough love? Yes. Sometimes love IS tough. Life can be scary without blueprints or road maps. Insights and instincts. Courage. Knowing when to speak (what) and when to keep silent (about what). How to encourage? How to support without overwhelming? How to remain true to self while allowing all others to do the same?
Where to shine the light? How brightly? How to help those we love increase their own light? What do we do with the darkness when it appears?
Trauma on down through the generations. Trying to spare the youngest, newest, sweetest, most loved? What do we adults drag around with us that harms them even when we are doing our very, very best not to?
Who can tell the truth? Who knows the truth? Who looks farthest down the road searching for how what happens now is going to affect what happens THEN for these little people?
Sometimes life seems so very, very big. I must feel small right now. Small enough to fit onto my grandmother’s lap. Her warm hand nesting against my cheek. If she were here. If I were small. If she could get to me without Mother noticing. Is Grandmother here near me now? She COULD be! She MIGHT be?
Oh, what would I say to her? What would I want to hear back from her?
“I love you. I have always loved you. I will always love you. No matter what. I love you.”
But did she fight for me? As hard as she could — FIGHT FOR ME?
Was she ensnared in a web she could not see, all tangled up, kept far, far from me?
How did that happen — exactly?
How did all that suffering HAPPEN?
Who could have stopped it? How? At what point?
How do I do my part now to stop the ripples, the aftermath, from moving one tiny inch into the future of my youngest family people?
What ARE our powers?
What price do I pay for the mistakes of my grandmother? What price are my dearest grandsons paying for mine?
Oh, forgiveness. Compassion. Mercy.
Daylight is dimming. Clouds too thick to see the sun. There is no wind. Rains today left a sweetest scent in the air I don’t ever want to go away.
There is no wind. There are no shadows. Darkness is coming.
There is a natural order to things. I am always seeking my place in it. Grandmothered once. Grandmother now.
Always I want the best.
I want to remember the best always happens in the little things. Things I might barely notice. One pure note from a piano key. Put together with the one before it and the one after it. A certain pattern. A certain rhythm. And there’s a melody. A song.
I want to listen….
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