"...wE mUst bE thE chAnGe wE wiSh tO sEE iN thE wOrld..." K.G.


when i was younger, i only knew 2 of my grandparents. my mother's mom, and my father's dad. everyone else had died before i was born. my grandfather was an alcoholic. he practically lived at the bar, and my dad would take me with him to see him, so he could ask him for money. i was about 5. my father would make up lies as the reasons he needed the money. sometimes grandpa gave it, but mostly not. i never knew the logistics of it. i can still remember the smell of being in that bar. it stunk of old stale beer [which smelled more like bad urine] and cigarettes... there were old men drinking in there, my dad didn't. he never liked it. i didn't have much interaction with grandpa. i wanted to snuggle him, and be close to him. but he wasn't an inviting person. he eventually died of cirrhosis of the liver, from all the years of drinking. i always wondered what kind of father he'd been to my dad and his siblings. i never asked, now i wish i would have.

my mother's mom was a little, cute, fluffy and kind grandma. she always spoke to me softly, without yelling. she would stand in front of me to protect me, when my mother wanted to hit me with the strap, and she always had a piece of candy for me when my mother wasn't around. she spent alot of time in the kitchen, making foods that i still crave and make today. [mostly for the memories and to feel the comfort of those memories]. she died when i was 7. and i wanted to go see her in Montreal to say goodbye, but my mother took my youngest sister Joanne instead, even though i begged her to take me too.

my point is, i never really had a good role model on how to be a good grandparent. i am basing what i am today on my own parenting skills and how i was with my own children when they were little. is that wrong? is there a better way to do it? because you see, when it came to parenting, i didn't have any good role models for that either. i just ended up doing everything i wished my mother would have done, and i avoided all the abusive words and acts she did to me... [us]. sort of like "by default" and based on the many parents David and i knew all those years we were waiting to become ones, ourselves... sorting through different approaches that we either liked or disliked. in retrospect, there are things i would not have done so much of, there are things i wished i knew better, to do. regrets, i have a few..... but even all the right and wrong things i did with my kids, my love and appreciation of them overflowed everyday in every way, and i showed them all the time.

when we did become parents, David and i did everything with Nicholas our oldest, then Emily. coloring, arts and crafts, reading, picnicking, we traveled, went to numerous parks for them to play, we pulled them in the wagon, went sledding, swimming, built a train set, raced cars.... oh my god, everything.... and we had fun. we spent TIME with them so they could feel they were loved, wanted, and appreciated. and when our day was done, we snuggled up for reading or a movie. we lived in an apartment that had a balcony. David bought a plastic baby pool, filled it with sand, and he and Nicholas used to sit out there for hours playing trucks. we built forts out of blankets over the dining room table. we had a garden, we went to church and i taught religious education. i couldn't even begin to write down all the fun, family loving things we did. normal family things. [at least what i gaged was normal according to friends we had] it was all so perfect then. i felt as though i had made GREAT changes from my own upbringing and our children's needs were being met abundantly. which is why i will never understand David's leaving, he once was the world's greatest father, who left before our youngest two children could ever experience life with a dad and mom. i have always felt so sad that our younger two boys never had that. in a way, they never knew what they were missing. but every child needs their father, and there are consequences from growing up without one.

i know Nicholas and Emily have permanent damage, hurts and pain in their soul that they may or may not ever address and heal from, if one can. i have it too from my parents, and i recognise it in them. saying "i don't care, mom" doesn't stop me from believing what i know in my heart. they will never ever speak to their dad about any of it. they SHOULD, but there's nothing i can do to change that. the thing is, David has turned out just like his own father did, even though before we had kids, he swore he would never be like that.

which brings me to my point, because i do have one...... this morning on my drive home from work, i was missing my grandson Julian, more than i can say. my daughter lives on the way home from the hospital, so i thought i would surprise her and stop by. all the blinds were still pulled so i knew she and Julian weren't up yet, so i just came home. i kept hearing his little voice in my mind, of things he says, and comments he makes.... he is just so expressive and perfectly beautifully cute! [yes i know we all say the same about our own]. he can take a little bit of this and some of that, put together thoughts and conclusions like he is way ahead of his years. the faces he makes, the gestures he uses, seem too grown up for him, yet there they are.... often blowing me away with his depth of thought and reason, and what i can see in his eyes.... the sparkle of youth, the "i know stuff you don't know and I'm not telling" looks.... i spend alot of time just watching him in awe of how his little mind already works, and his innocence humbles me almost to the point of feeling pain. i love that baby so much. he reminds me of Emily at his age. they often portray the same looks, the same responses... it's really uncanny how gestures and looks seem to be hereditary.

so i often wonder if i am giving him what he needs, from a grandson's point of view. will he have good warm memories of me, of us and things we did, when i am gone? being his gramma allows me to bask in the sweetness of that age, just as i did with my 4 kiddos when they were that age. i treasured so many moments watching my 4 kids grow and pass through each of those stages. i took it all in as if it were my last breath, and i would do it all again if there was a way.

i want to make memories with him. maybe I'm being selfish, but i want him to have that which i didn't, just as i wanted my kids to have what i didn't. my dad died way before i had kids. my mother had 3 good years with mine, but she was dieing of emphysema and wasn't very mobile. although her relationship with Nicholas and Emily was always loving, it was spiteful, too. not to them AT ALL but to ME, like i couldn't ask her to not say or do something concerning them... she would do it purposefully to spite me, to let me know she was in control, not i. so we had conflict often. that's just how she was. there was no respect on her part for me, as their mother. Davids mother lived a thousand miles away, and unless we went up there on vacation, she never once made the effort to come here. and Alex and Christopher never knew any grandparents. they barely know their own father.

Emily and i have issues to work out, as i have said before.... and she doesn't let me have him as often as i would like. we can go for a month without seeing each other, and she lives nearby. it's not enough for me. time is passing too quickly for the push and pull games she plays. when i try to give her suggestions on anything [which doesn't happen often] she rejects my advice, will hear the same thing from someone else and acts like it is such a revelation! which leaves me feeling insignificant to her, and hurt. I'm her MOM and i don't feel like i am. i don't feel the love.... from her. in my whole time of injury with my shoulder, she not once asked if there was anything she could do for me, or said kind words, or showed her softness to me in any way.

when i was growing up, in fact even into adulthood, i would see other moms and daughters and dads and daughters having fun and sharing closeness. it was like a knife in my heart as i longed so deeply to have that.
now today i am seeing grandmas with their little ones, carrying on with the special relationship i can only presume one has with a grandparent. i don't really know what i am missing, as i never had that, but i know enough to see what i want to have with Julian and the feeling of longing is the same.... i have not been able to find a place of peace with the reality of this, as i have with the other. so right now in my life, i am grieving the lost relationship i want, with my grandson. i am in a constant state of missing him.... when i call and ask Emily if i can have him for the day, she will have an excuse or just outright say no, unless she needs me to babysit. when Diane and i do, we take full advantage and fit in as much as possible. sadly, it does not happen often. it's not enough....

i have thought about all this anger and resentment she has towards me, and the only conclusion i can arrive at, is she is taking out on me all the hurt she has for her father, who was not there for her.... who left her when she was only 4...... and broke her heart. that is the only thing that makes sense to me. meanwhile, she is pretty close to her dad and his wife now, and i am very happy for her that she found some common ground to bond with him on.
but then i have to ask, where does that leave me........? i miss my daughter. i miss my kiddies when they were little. and i miss Julian.
i know not all relationships are as we desperately want them to be.
i haven't written a post in a while because i have been storing all of this up inside me, and grieving the loss of another dream i had of things being different than i had them. i want to be close to my only daughter, i worked hard to do so, and now the reality is we aren't. AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY! it kills me inside. i fear it will never change, no matter what i do. AND BECAUSE OF THAT i will not have the relationship and time with Julian, that i always dreamed of having if i was ever blessed enough to be a gramma. Emily seems to be content with the way things are. i unfortunately am not.



Technodoll said...

If your daughter doesn't read this blog, she should... it would open up her heart and her eyes. Sometimes daughters just need to know their moms aren't there to smother but to nuture, support and encourage. It's an ego thing, I suppose...


ChiTown Girl said...

Technodoll hit the nail on the head! I, too, am sending lots of {{{hugs}}}

otin said...

unfortunately humans are prone to holding grudges and harboring resentment, they are also prone to not letting the person that they are mad at know why. It usually is some silly reason. My sister and father have not spoken in 12 years because of some things that he did, not terrible things, but things that hurt her feelings. Now she is like,"he needs to be the adult", and he is like ,"Fuck her"! They are not getting any younger!

C said...

thanks otin for sharing that. i know this shit happens in every family. i just need to cope with it.


jo.irish.rose said...

pope stite crotte, i know a guy, you want i should take her out? ehh? he's cheap too, no problems....ehh? call me, 555-eat-crap! i can do it for you's, promise ta do it clean like, no mess...got it? joey green eyes

jo.irish.rose said...

hey, c'est moi, dont know who wrote that, geez....some sick perverted uncaring insensitive retard who, i might add, thinks they are ridiculously funny with a NY accent, and they are NOT, OK!!!! DANG IT, IT WAS MEEEEE!!!

anyhoo, i just wanted to tell you i love you and i just went through crap some of the same with my "emily" you know who i mean, and that i think that even thought both have had love growing up, it is that generation. i dont know, mine had 2 loving parents, yours lost one at an early age. so why do they both act the same? it is like they take stuff out on us through their babies. i couldn't give "my julian" a certain food, because she had not "introduced" it to her yet. well, lo and behold....the next day, voila...she is eating it! then i couldn't do certain "things" like put her on a riding ATV that we got at the thrift store. SHE had to do it!! all mind games. they are 1st time mothers, toone. they want to do EVERYTHING for themselves. and dont try to tell them anything medical.....ehhhhhh their doctor is up there next to God. they know it all. you and i, we are ingnoramous' we didnt raise our kids, they just poped out the age they are right now. we never knew anything. we are stupid and full of old fashion ideas. they dont work now. (not my words, BTW) so, cheer up, my favorite sissy, hey....your my big bloggy bosom buddy, OR my silly sloppy sisterly show, (cuz you are funny like that) OR teeny tiny ticklish toone OR i better quit now....i am getting sillier by the minute.

us grannies, we gotta stick together. like with glue....so hang in there, i am always hanging, since i got older, everything hangs....lol.

Busy Bee Suz said...

If I were you, I would try as much as you can to keep the contact with your daughter. Give her a call weekly to see what is going on..how are things? how is the baby? Do you want to have dinner? etc...just keep the conversation going. As far as the baby, make every visit something special. I just loved spending time with my Grandma because she was the only one who gave me the attention I so wanted. She was not distracted by other things or people when we were together. She made my childhood special.
good luck...Hugs to you,

Anonymous said...

Sending big hugs, missing someone you love is heart-breaking and you don't deserve that. :(

joe said...

I think everyone has good and bad parents / grandparents. I was lucky to get a good mom and 3 out of 4 grandparents were great. I was adopted as an infant, so my biological parents are a mystery. Unfortunately for most of us, life never asks us what we want. We get what we get, and hopefully we appreciate the good and learn from the bad, and become better and wiser as a result.

joe said...

... btw, I still haven't mailed out that Mother's Day card yet. I thought it was next sunday..... I'm so bad at these things..