Skip to main content

Grandmothers' Story

This week, a dear friend of mine lost her grandmother.

I lost my grandmother ten years ago.

My husband lost his grandmother ten years before that.

Grandmother Number One was named Marguerite.
Grandmother Number Two was named Anna.
Grandmother Number Three was named Cecilia.

One grandmother lived to be one-hundred-and-two.  She spent that last year of her life curled in a fetal position, blind.

Another grandmother lived to be eighty-six.  She spent the last year of her life not knowing where she was, a feeding tube slurping what looked like sand into her stomach.

Another grandmother died shouting at the nursing home attendants, the place where her right leg should have been the place where they set the dinner tray, instead.

"When you die you got to die!" she shouted.

The grandmother who was blind grew up in a bordello.

The grandmother who lost her leg chased "the colored" off her property with a hoe.

The grandmother who didn't know where she was traveled halfway around the world to be with the woman she loved.

Two of them died without a wrinkle on their faces. (Beauty is the nurse who comes when you don't need her anymore.)

One of them was married to a wildcatter.

One of them, the racist, was hired to replace a first, dead wife with the same name.  (The children hated her.)

One--the one who traveled halfway around the world to be with the woman she loved--died on the morning of that woman's funeral.

She was also my grandmother.

They fill the ground, like stars.

--MD

Comments

Mylène said…
You can turn this into an interesting writing exercise, friends: Choose three people you know well or slightly, and juxtapose their lives. Concentrate on explicit detail. See.
This is so touching. Thank you for sharing this constellation of grandmothers, Mylene.
Jeanna Thornton said…
Loved this! j.
Beautiful.

Popular posts from this blog

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button": Did you love it or hate it?

Earlier this week, Colleen and I went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", the extraordinary movie based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I loved it. Colleen not s'much. (I was sitting there choked in tears at the end of the three hour film, so I only vaguely remember her saying something about "watching paint dry.") I want to see it again, so I'm trying to get the Gare Bear to go with me this weekend, but I won't be surprised if he reacts the same way Colleen did. The movie is long. And odd. It requires patience and a complete suspension of disbelief that modern audiences simply aren't trained for, so you've got to be in the right mood for it. The same is true of the short story, though the story and script have very little in common -- at least superficially. The story is very Fitzgerald (though it's not an example of his best writing, IMHO), and the setting -- Baltimore during the industrial revolution, Spanish Americ

APATHY AND OTHER SMALL VICTORIES by Paul Neilan is only good if you enjoy things like laughter

The only thing Shane cares about is leaving. Usually on a Greyhound bus, right before his life falls apart again. Just like he planned. But this time it's complicated: there's a sadistic corporate climber who thinks she's his girlfriend, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, and the bizarrely appealing deaf assistant to Shane's cosmically unstable dentist. When one of the women is murdered, and Shane is the only suspect who doesn't care enough to act like he didn't do it, the question becomes just how he'll clear the good name he never had and doesn't particularly want: his own.