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Friday, 1 May 2009

r.i.p grandmother

"Cup a Tea", "Cup a Tea"
When I think of my fraternal grandmother, that phrase is what immediately pops into my head. On the rare occasion she would visit, she would come into the house chanting and demanding a "Cup'aTea"...

We weren't close to my fathers mother. She pretty much abandoned him as a baby, he was left to the care of his grandparents and he grew up knowing his mother as his sister. When I was younger, we would visit now and again and she would come to see us from time to time but there was never any type of relationship developed. There were no hugs or kisses, words of love or encouragement; she always gave off this "KEEP AWAY!" vibe which made me and my siblings keep our distance. As I got older, I would see less and less of her despite attempts to keep her in our lives -- invitations to wedding, christenings, birthdays, etc, all turned down -- eventually she just cut herself off entirely from the family. Occasionally I would think of her and as time when on and she aged, I would often think of how I would feel about her death. Would I feel any sort of grief or sadness? On Monday afternoon I got the call that my grandmother had passed away from kidney failure.

Feelings...
Sadness. That was mostly how I felt. Sad that she never really got to know what a great man her son (my father) really was. Sad that she never really cared to know who we were or got to know any of her great grandchildren. Sad that I never made more of an effort to get to know her. And sad because she could have had a loving family to lean on for all those years she was ill but choose to have very little contact with our us. Why? Why would anyone want to live the life she choose? I wonder if it was guilt that kept her away for all those years or was it that she simply didn't care? I guess that is something I will never know.

Pensive...
This week I have been doing a lot of contemplating; mostly about my life, and how it has measured up to my expectations and the expectation of my family. I've been thinking about my goals and what I hope to accomplish before my own demise. I have thought about all the bridges I have burned, all the missed opportunities and regrets I have.

Wondering...
How my family might react when I die. How will I be remembered? What legacy will I leave behind? What will be the story that was my life?

I guess pondering such things gives me a renewed appreciation for life.

Memorials...
This morning while we were all preparing ourselves to attend the service for my grandmother, I ran through in my mind how the day will go. We will sit in a small chapel surrounded by family and friends; some I haven't seen in years, some I people I won't remember or know. Make small talk, accept condolences, exchange hugs. Then we will have to speak about her. What will I say? I wracked my brain all week thinking of something good to say, then it hit me. I will thank her for the legacy she has left behind... for giving life to a father who worked hard to provide and care for his family, a devoted husband, and a loving grandfather.
"What is well planted cannot be uprooted. What is well embraced cannot slip away. Your descendants will carry on the ancestral sacrifice for generations without end." ~The Tao Te Ching
r.i.p grandmother - 1926-2009


7 comments:

only a movie said...

Wow, Jack. Lovely and sad and what a mindset to be in while you're dealing with the evacuation!

Hang in there. Thinking of you...

WackyMummy said...

You've gone through a lot lately... keeping you in my thoughts.
That's a wonderful way to remember your grandmother... finding the good.
Take care.

LarryG said...

Hang in there sweetheart, harvest those memories, a new phase of fertile experience has arrived.

Also, I borrowed one of your photos from a post today! I love that one.

Madeleine said...

Oh, Jackie, you are going through a lot this week........you are in my thoughts

another

(((((hug)))))

Billy Rhythm said...

I'm sorry.

Shadow said...

i'm sorry for your loss. yet the thoughts that flowed from you here, made me pause too... leaving me comforted somehow.

Jack said...

Thank you all for your kind words and condolences. This week has really made me stop and think about a lot of things.