Monday, October 18, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for

Something I have to forgive someone for.

My someone isn't around to actually have a conversation with.

My dad's mom.

My dad's parents divorced long ago. When I was maybe 4 or 5 my grandfather remarried and I was ecstatic. I loved my new step grandmother. And with her came two new step aunties close in age to my dad's youngest sister (who is only 7 years older than me). Being so small I thought it was totally cool I had a step grandmother who I called by her 1st name. What I always knew in my heart though, was that she was my real grama, not a step grama.

My dad's real mom? Nana. I'm 33 and I still can not bring myself to actually speak the word 'Nana' because of the hurt I have from such an early age. Not in reference to her, I can not do it.

I have very few memories of her as a child. One time I particular I remember sitting in the window waiting - and waiting - for her to come, but she didn't show. Which was not unusual. I have memories of her giving me candy in small brown bags, not much else. I don't even remember how old I was the last time I actually saw her, but I know that I was really young.

As the years passed I told myself she didn't matter, she obviously didn't care about us. But it ate at me, how could she not? We were her grand kids. Didn't she want to know us? For the most part I could push her from my mind, I had 2 grandmothers who cared about me and I certainly didn't need her.

I remember one conversation with my step (correction Real) grama. I was a teenager and I told her as far as I was concerned she was my grama, not... 'dad's mom'. We got teary and she asked me why I didn't call her that then and I had no answer, I didn't know why. All these years later I wish I just would have said in that moment OK then, what would you like me to call you.

And yet for all my telling myself I didn't care about my dad's mom, I would silently look for her with a photo in my mind from when I was small and the photos we had from years ago. At the grocery store, in crowds at the mall. Would she know me? I remember telling myself when I was 18 (why I picked that age, I have no idea), I would find her. I'm sure all I ever had to do was ask someone who could have told me, but I had this feeling like I had to wait... and I didn't want to ask anyone.

My sophomore year of high school we got a call that my dad's mom had died. Alcoholism, emphysema, I don't know what else. I remember feeling so angry. My parents asked me what I wanted to do since out of my siblings I was the only one who remembered her. I? was going to the wake. I had to face her, had to say my piece. Even if it was only to myself really.

I felt no sadness, no anger at all arriving at that wake.

Walking in the door, being hugged by crying people who were complete strangers to me, I felt sick. 'Oh she loved you so much', 'oh I see the resemblance' some would say. It was upsetting. I wanted to scream that she didn't love us, she left us and didn't even Know us. It was there that I stood with my cousins I was only just getting to know. My cousin was crying about how our grandmother was her best friend, and she couldn't believe she was gone. I felt so sorry for her but I also felt furious inside. She had gotten the chance to know and love her - I never did. And with that I couldn't even bring myself to take the steps into the room where her casket was. I stayed outside and talked with my cousin all night, when she wasn't in That room.

For years I have told myself I would go to her grave and have my say. I know the cemetery, just not where she's located. My dad has offered to take me, but I can't do that with him. I know that I need to let it all go, and forgive her. I wish she was here so I could do that. But even though she's not I think I need to do it anyway. To just let.it.go.

I'm trying to look at it like I did not miss anything. I had 2 other grama's who have loved and been there for me all along. Always.
Even though I did miss out on something - her.
In a strange way, her passing brought members of our family back together. I got my cousins. (Who rock, and I don't know what I would do without.)
And I feel like maybe it's just time to forgive her.

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