To All the Grandmothers

Queen Victoria was the grandmother to 42 grandchildren, including stillborn and adopted grandchildren of course. She did have 9 children with Albert, and I suspect a few of them had a reputation of running around a bit. (oh that Edward!) This is an original authentic late Victorian print of her that I have in my collection. I don't imagine her the hugs and kisses type, but I am sure they must have bought some joy to her austere life.

I was looking down at my fingernails today, painted light red, not too long, but long enough to look good in such a color. As I stared at them I thought of my grandmother, her arthritic hands with swollen knuckles with nails painted a similar red. Those hands worked some magic with knitting needles and crochet hooks. I still have the sweaters she made my brother and I in the early 60's. They are objects of veneration.

I did not see my grandmother much. For some strange reason my father did not like my mother's family, and, being a control freak, he did a good job of cutting her off from them. But the visits my grandmother did make every few years to our house were one ones of joy for me. She was Lithuanian, and could still yell at us in the mother tongue, but had the thickest of Brooklyn accents. She girded herself against my fathers dour nature and made me a very happy child when she came to visit.

My grandmother only died about 5 years ago, well into her 90's. I rarely saw her after she stopped coming to visit us when I was a teenager in the 70's. I did attend several family get togethers, but I never visited the way I should have. I was too phobic to drive into Brooklyn to see her, or get on the buses and subways to visit, and she sort of faded out of my life like the rest of my mother's family...which is still to this day. We see each other occasionally -- mostly at funerals.

I hope that I will always be a joy to my own grandchild, and that she will always remain close to me. I will sell my collection if I have to in order to be able to see any grandchildren I may have, especially Alanna as Larry and I have helped bring her into the world, and who have been an integral part of her life for the past 3 years.

My grandmothers gave me love, gave me hope. My therapist says if a child has just one person in their life like this, they will be ok. And she is right, after all, I am ok, aren't I?!

And the other photo is of my grandmother Anna on her wedding day. Nice to remember that all grandmothers were once young, in love and lust, and full of dreams.

TO All the grandmothers....patti


Anonymous said…
For some reason, I'm getting red "x"s instead of photos on this post.

I know what you mean about grandparents. My last grandmother passed away this month last year. We always regret not spending more time with them. Fortunately, we never regret the time we did spend with them, however limited.
Anonymous said…
I wish I'd had more of an opportunity to know my maternal grandmother, in part because she was so very important to my mother, and in part because she was really just too cool. She died just before I turned four, and I have only vague memories of her.

My paternal grandmother died several years before I was born. I never really knew either of my grandfathers, either. Sometimes I feel as if I've missed a lot.

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