disappointed acceptance? i’m working on it, that’s for sure.
my grandma was sick a year before she got really sick. and then, it became clear that she was slowly dying. and then last september, she started to get more and more acute, and she moved in with her sister after a stay in the hospital. i’m glad she got to live with her sister. that was nice.
anyhow, my grandma has always been a champion of the poor and needy, she has always been a real “alternative” grandma. done arts and crafts (weaving, string art, various and sundry), studying any and all sorts of religions (eastern, unity, native american, course in miracles, various christian) and various alternative/holistic medical practices. she believed in reincarnation, studied the works of norman vincent peale, edgar cayce, emmet fox and kahlil gibran. she also lived through the depression and was a WAC in WWII.
she had a really full life. and when she was in the midst of dying, she was pretty much at peace with it. she could have done without the discomfort and physical crap, but i really do believe her soul was at peace.
mine, not so much. i owe her money for student loans she strongly offered to pay for in my first go-around of college, straight out of high school (she didn’t want me to pay the interest), and i didn’t call or visit her as much as i should have. she wasn’t always the most easy person to be around — she had a lot of not-so-nice opinions about my hairstyles, choice of clothes, and whatever weight i happened to be at the time. and she was NOT shy about telling me what she thought about these particular items. still, i loved her dearly, and she was the grandparent i was closest to, had the most memories of, and wanted to be the most like.
one time when i was on lunch from the job at the AA bookstore, i called to see how she was doing. when she was really sick, i took more time to call and see what was up, even though it sometimes made me uncomfortable, and i never knew if she would be up or what kind of shape she would be in. this particular time, we talked for quite a long time. we ended up talking about this cedar chest she had and she told me the whole story about how she found this thing in my great-grandma’s basement (she lived across a few lots from my grandma — empty, grassy lots, that had an apple tree and a mulberry tree, that we’d eat from in the summertime), and how she took the legs off and refinished it and made it look nice. i remarked that that was a cool story and how that was great history and how that was something i’d maybe like to have after she died. she said that’d be okay, and that she’d write it down. i also told her that i was sorry that i was a crap grandaughter and i felt bad that it took her getting sick for me to talk to her more regularly. she told me that it was okay; that we were all on different spiritual paths, and some of us learned different lessons at different rates. that she had lots to learn, too, and that she’d definitely be back to learn more. i felt forgiven in some way.
well, she kept three notebooks. one with my debt in it, one with my sister’s debt, and one with … things she had been writing down? my dad brought these three to her, and my uncle has two of them. one is missing. can you guess which one? there’s been some discussion about who will get this cedar chest … well, long story short, i guess they decided this sunday by way of a poker hand. dealing out five cards and my uncle won and it will go to his wife. this makes me sad, as she’s 50 some years old and isn’t even technically blood related. i don’t know what she needs with what is essentially a hope chest. her only offspring is a boy — who is an awesome kid. so, i don’t know. ultimately, i know my grandma wouldn’t want us to fight about it, and i said my piece to my dad, and i won’t discuss it with him further. i know he would feel bad about it.
the other thing that my grandma had were some tarot cards that i realized i wanted after she died. they were in the house when i asked my dad about them, and then the next time he went over there, they were gone. supposedly the only people going over there are my dad and my uncle. so, again, i don’t get it. who would want those? why? i can’t imagine that they would sell these things. i certainly don’t want to sell them. i want them because they remind me of my grandma, and because we shared many of the same spiritual beliefs and interests. i did get her books on spirituality and religion. many of them are old unity books from the 30s and 40s, and that’s cool. but i’d still like to have those tarot cards, especially if i can’t have the cedar chest.
ultimately, i know that material things are not my grandma. and i know she wouldn’t want me to get upset over things. but i definitely am disappointed, to be sure. now to gain some acceptance around it.