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asleep at mal 9/09
alumiere
holidays with the family are always challenging but yesterday was… 
12/23/04 15:06
asleep at mal 9/09
holidays with the family are always challenging but yesterday was special

yesterday, i drove up to york to celebrate with my dad and his side of the family. dad, my stepmom kimberly, my stepsister courtney, and my grandmother all gathered at my sisters house with kristin, her husband dan, and their sons tanner and kevin...

that part of the day was basically good (other than the hideously ugly "night light christmas tree" from kimberly to me) in that we got to spend some time together but hard in that grandma is not doing well, and we're all afraid this may be her last christmas with us - she has cancer, and can't swallow well enough to eat anything solid (she's been living on ensure for months now) - she looks so gaunt and thin, almost exactly like her mother (my great grandma who i also loved a lot) before she passed

grandma is giving away a lot of her jewelry and memorabilia - yesterday she handed kristin, courtney and i each large packages of heirloom jewelry... she gave me great grandma's wedding band and engagement ring (which i'll wear with pride even though i'm not a huge fan of diamonds) and kristin her wedding and engagement ring among the pieces - dad thinks this is a sign she's giving up; i'm not so sure about that as she said at a recent family gathering where some of my other great grandmother's jewelry was given away that she'd rather be around to see people enjoy her gifts

and then in conversation with dad about the extended family he mentioned that although i have funny hair and wear strange clothes he really liked the person i've grown into, and that i'm no longer the bad kid... this is a big deal to me - i've always been the black sheep of the family even though (and we're talking extened family - my great grandparents' grandkids and great grandkids) i'm the only one (with the exception of kristin and dad) who has a college degree and the only one who didn't either spend time in jail or have kids before marriage or both - and none of this is recent; it's been an ongoing pattern since i was a child... it always felt hypocritical to me that they thought i was uncontrollable because of the way i look, when i've always been hard working, intelligent, and respectul to my family (even when i don't much like them)

dinner at the country club wasn't as bad as usual - the group was smaller, other than my nephews it was only the adult extended family (hooray - no screaming brats), and no major scenes occurred - i even got to sit at the "adult" table (with great grandpa) for the first time ever

i wish he wasn't virtually deaf though - he's an amazing and intelligent man, but he doesn't read lips very well, and talking with him is nearly impossible - i miss the intelligent and lively debates that we used to have a few years ago, and while his mind is still sharp as a tack it seems like his deafness is increasingly isolating him

so... yesterday was good and bad - i'm finding it difficult to face the loss of grandma and great-grandpa but i'm glad that i was able to spend time with them during the holidays
Comments 
12/23/04 14:01 (UTC)
Honey, I am deeply sorry for your loss. However, I plan on treating you to some very good music towards the end.:) Esp.modern English, I'll melt with you, Til Tuesday, and some other stuff. I am going to be getting into the classics tonight! Looking forward to see you bunny!

--Carolynn
(Deleted comment)
12/23/04 15:22 (UTC)
they will always be with you in your heart and loving memories. no one can ever take that away. you are very lucky to have had elders to grow and learn from.
12/23/04 17:38 (UTC)
dad thinks this is a sign she's giving up; i'm not so sure about that as she said at a recent family gathering where some of my other great grandmother's jewelry was given away that she'd rather be around to see people enjoy her gifts

Sorry to hear your grandma isn't doing so well, but I think you might have the right idea. My grandmother gave a lot of her jewelry away years before she passed. I think one reason was to make sure it was divided up evenly between the granddaughters. Then she made Granddad buy her more!
12/23/04 22:10 (UTC) - What I did with someone I adored who was hard of hearing....
and HOPE it may help you...I took a sketch pad and a sharpie and that is what I used to communicate with...it took a small bit of time but then she looked forward to our get togethers more and more...even sought me out!

:)
12/25/04 17:22 (UTC) - Wow, how bittersweet.
I'm always so jealous when I see someone post about their granparents or even (wow!) great-grandparents. I never knew mine. How fabulous for you that you have seen that part of your family tree in person.

But how hard it is to know someone is leaving you. Try not to dwell too much on when it might happen, 'casue you have no control over that. I wish you strength to deal with things as they occur.

I have to be happy for you, overall though; how excellent that your dad has been able to move past his feelings about your choices in style to the achievements of your life. You musta felt lighter than air at the end of that conversation. Big kudos for that happening. It's nice to see that people can surprise you, from time to time.
12/27/04 19:04 (UTC)
This is one of those occasions where I'm not sure how to put what I'm thinking into words... but suffice to say you have my good thoughts and support for both the good stuff and bad.