Do you know what I learned from my grandmothers?
Not one single thing. Except for maybe the fact that they stayed with their husbands till death they parted, and I had a hand written note from one before my wedding. It was filled with marriage wisdom, and I know that the woman had so much she could have taught me.
But is was wasted.
I don’t know why it was. The only upside I can think of about not knowing any of my grandparents is this: I was spared pain when they died. I had no feelings of sadness except the feeling of regret in not knowing who they were and what I could have learned from them.
Now, my grandmothers are women that I ask others about. Who were they? Am I like them? Wishing something was different can’t change the past, but wishing something was different can help me in helping change the future of someone else. Namely my own kids and then of course, when I begin my season as a grandparent. Once I begin that season, I will never leave it, till I die. (Unless of course, I get no grandchildren.)
I think about my grandmothers almost every time I am sitting in my craft room. They both loved to sew, and garden, and make things, one loved music and played by ear just like I do. One kept impeccable records and receipts, and organized well. She loved fashion and Grandpa loved her and taking pictures of her. I can feel my identity with both these women, even though I never really knew them. We talked, small talk. I visited a few times a year for a few hours. But thats where the relationship ended.
I didn’t know them. Yet they left an imprint upon me.
Not huge, but the few times we connected, I remember… Grandma. The word felt strange saying it to them. It was a word I didn’t say to much. It felt good, but different all in one. There was curiosity for who they were, but the fear of rejection if I probed for more of a relationship. I was waiting. I was waiting for them to reach to me! I was waiting for those older wise women who had spent so much time doing everything but building a relationship. I was waiting for those women to ask me to come and stay, to sew together, to tell me about the good old days, to taste their homemade apple sauce and teach me how to make a pie crust. I was waiting for them to make the first move, because I thought thats how it was suppose to be.
They never came. And I missed out.
They missed out, because I was a precious grand-daughter that they never knew they had. I might as well had never been born. I was there. They chose not to know me.
I can and will choose to know my kids and their kids even if we live apart. We don’t travel by covered wagons anymore, I can take a plane. I can email. I can snail mail, I can teleport, I can drive, I can call. And I can write to them and leave letters to them of Love, and forgiveness and everything that Christ leads me to tell them. Because, people are what matter. And people who we call family, should be our “small group” where we share and give, and laugh and build memories that will last into the next generation. If my grandparents didn’t want that, then I don’t have to follow that pattern, I have the power to break that cycle. And I will. I will not wallow in what I did not get and pass it on to another generation.
You know what’s funny, When I’m a grandma, the days I will have lived will be “The Good Old days”. Makes me wonder what is in store for my grandkids. Real bubble wrap suits as to not get a bruise while playing, and a law for babies to wear helmets? Maybe sugar will be outlawed because of cavities and diabetes, maybe we won’t eat real food anymore, it will be George Jetson pills we swallow instead! I wonder if everyone will communicate via technology and there will be classes on how to have a real conversation with someone. Maybe the government will refuse to endorse marriage because of the constant fighting about who can marry and who can’t. Maybe eating animals will be frowned upon on a regular basis, and we will go to sleep in a closed machine. Yea, this is depressing to think about, but I’m just thinking how life progress’s here! What will be classified as “The Good Ol’ Days” for me?
I think I will be a Grandma. I’m looking forward to taking it seriously and cherishing every moment… And of course, I will tell them about those “Good ol’ days!