May 01, 2006

It shouldn’t have come as a shock, but it did.

I got the call on Friday afternoon, about an hour before I got off work. My grandmother -my father’s mother- had died. She was in her late-70’s, she was a recent cancer survivor, she had several brain surgeries when I was younger. But she was as healthy as could be, we thought, still on her own, still driving. But she had a stroke on Friday, and she was gone before anyone knew what had happened.

My relationship with my Grandma was troubled, to say the very least. She could be a very difficult person, as needy and manipulative as you can imagine. My father was completely under her spell; the fact that he knew it only made it worse. She and my mother were never friendly. There was a noticeable iciness for family gatherings. I will always remember, when my parents divorced, my mother shouting that she would never have to deal with “that woman” again.

I always dreaded seeing grandma Alyce. I hated her plastic-covered couches and her prissy little dogs. I could see what she did to my parents. I could see what she caused between them. Going to my father’s side of the family was always a chore, and one I didn’t handle it well. I did get along fine with my grandfather, a kindly and -as you might imagine- rather henpecked man. I had my own falling out with my grandmother. I didn’t invite her to my high school graduation. I told myself I couldn’t get the extra tickets, but I didn’t really try. She told me I was out of the will - always her favorite threat- and I didn’t talk to her or see her since. I didn’t call or send a card when my grandpa died. I will always regret that.

When Ensie and I came up to visit the Christmas-before-last, my father told me straight out that I would have to see her. She was older, and lonely and had gone through some serious health problems. She won’t be around much longer, he said. She had changed, I think. She had mellowed, she seemed to dislike my stepmother even more than she hated my mother. We made up, as much as we could. We saw her several times since we moved, and we always planned on having her over for dinner at our new house. I was even back in the will.

I’ll miss her, and I worry about what this does to my father.

Posted by Frinklin at May 1, 2006 10:49 PM | TrackBack

Sorry to hear that, my condolences and prayers for you and your family.

Posted by: colin_hesse at May 2, 2006 02:25 PM
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