keep it dark (snidegrrl) wrote,
keep it dark
snidegrrl

My grandmother - Josephine, Jo, or Grandma as she was almost always called by me - passed away yesterday. She was 87 years old, says dad, although she never talked about her age, not ever. When we celebrated her birthday it was always unstated. The impression this left on me was less "it's bad to get old" and more "my family are weirdly secretive". Somehow the secretive gene didn't get passed down to me; or perhaps that's my dad's genes talking. Either way, my grandmother kept her cards close. She did like to hear about what I was up to, and I definitely didn't provide her with that often enough. Like I said to my parents, often in your Big Plans for Having an Important Life you forget about what it means to put physical distance between you and your family. Naturally that means different things to different people; to me it means a certain sadness for my family has always been kind to me.

Grandma sold real estate. I have mentioned it to some of you before, but my family on my mother's side was hip deep in the real estate business. She even had her own agency for a while; I distinctly remember going to the office there and enjoying playing with the office supplies and typing on the typewriters way on back in the 80s. My memory of anything before I was 20 is completely hazy - I have a terrible memory - and that's getting right frustrating right now. I can remember settings... I can remember small physical details about every room in the house my grandparents lived in most of my life. I remember that she'd read to me when I'd have to stay over because my dad was on a 6 month "cruise" for the Navy and my mom was at the Thalhimer's selling fine jewelry. As I got older, first my sullen teenagerdom, and then my big plans got in the way of being able to see that it would have been good to try to talk to grandma more, to try to draw her out and enjoy her company. Or maybe I didn't understand until recently the fundamental things about life, like sometimes your elders really have been through a bunch of things you might be interested to hear about and they might be interested to tell you.

Hopefully this weekend sparks more memories for me, and reveals a little more about who she was, before things started to go poorly.
Tags: family, memorial
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