She lived through World War II, King Jr’s assassination and Nixon resigning and I’ve lived through the Challenger exploding on live television, The Persian Gulf War and a global pandemic and I nearly forgot that she’s been dead for 7 years and today would have been her 83rd birthday. I’m glad she’s no longer here.
I wonder sometimes, that if her daughter had successfully aborted me if she would have been happier with her, and treated her with more lovingkindness as a teenager, and if my mother- who would just have been some lady on earth, would have become a different and perhaps better human had she been nurtured at all. There is no way to know now.
She was a survivor though- she had survived the Vietnam war, Brown vs. The Board of Education rulings and Roe Vs Wade and I’m no slouch I’ve survived Reagan getting shot, The Rodney King Riots and 9/11
and I don’t talk to anyone else still living that she was related to anymore by choice. It just makes me sad because none of them have the emotional strength to try to change and I don’t have the strength to try to save an entire bloodline from self hatred, delusion, manipulation and insecurity. They didn’t like me anyway.
I wonder sometimes if we were white or rich or both if all of them would have been politicians with shady child trafficking cases that they were trying to beat with the funds they stole from who knows how many crimes nestled safely in off shore accounts- I’m sure they probably still wouldn’t consider therapy.
She always said she loved me in the middle of saying something to insult my mother and followed it up with a reminder that if I didn’t obey I’d be headed toward hell.
I always said I loved her, but only if she said it first and I didn’t need any kind of support in any kind of way from her- her favorite thing about me was how I suffered in silence and made my own muddled way without leaning on her and I still won scholarship money in highschool for writing an essay about how talented she was being able to raise five children on her own; so I wouldn’t need to hold my hand out to her for assistance like any other normal child would in what I can only imagine to be a loving family.
I can’t say I miss her or them. I feel like some people need that tether because they have built a personality around loyal and devoted families in spite of consistent and endless drama and trauma. I don’t have a personality that seems to want to stick other than the fact that I scribble words down as often as I can. Regardless of how I feel, she could have told her daughter to throw me in a trash bin and she didn’t as far as I can tell. When her daughter chose a new man over raising me, she took me in against her will and did her best even though parenting a second generation was not on her list of To Do’s. Perhaps she did the best she could with what she had, what she knew, what was acceptable and the extent of her own dreams or maybe she didn’t but either way I am grateful if for no other reason than some scars show how much of a fighter you are and without her, my son wouldn’t exist either.
She believed as Conservatives do, as Christians do and as closeted and ashamed LGBTQIA+ people do and I believe something different moment to moment as understanding and knowledge reveal itself on a level that I can comprehend and yet, I’m grateful for her brand of guidance because now I know how to balance a budget, research answers instead of relying on others to feed me truth and keep myself entertained if I’m ever in a corner alone with nothing but a bit of paper and a pencil…and nobody really knows what’s next… fortunately for her she isn’t here to see any of it except through the blood I share with her that now only flows through me.
May my maternal grandmother forever rest in peace.