August 16, 2011

"You're a Little Old to be Having..."

Oh no she di-n't!

As un-hip as I am, I imagine my head swerving side to side with a wild arm gesture while I'm saying this.

I felt like I needed to call my grandmother and tell her the news. So I did, and for a few seconds she was silent, then started saying “Well, you’re a little old to be having…” I cut her off and basically said that I would really, really love to hear some positive words from her right now, that I’ve been through absolute h*ll the last couple of years because of this stuff between two miscarriages and a diagnosis of infertility, that believe me if I could have done things different I would have…

Okay, quick reality check. I am well aware of just how "old" I am (just turned 42). It's risky. Doable, but risky. And I can only assume that if someone isn't rude enough to say it to my face, sooner or later their tongues will be wagging behind my back. What am I gonna do? Keep walking. Keep sharing my story. Keep forgiving.

I know this is just the way she is, and she does suffer from dementia, so I keep that in mind. But I wasn’t about to let something negative be the first words out of her mouth (again). I think it came out in a weird combination of panic, laughter, and yelling. The conversation ended well enough and she didn't seem to retain any of the tension from that moment. Just shocked silence, I suppose. Which is a logical reaction. Overall she seemed quite amazed and happy.

I have a weird relationship with my grandmother, though I don't think she knows how weird it is from my end. From the moment I was conceived she considered me the daughter she never had (she had three sons) and spoiled me mercilessly all my life. Until one day, my dad asked me whether I thought it odd how much she complemented me. And then I became aware. Aware of the devastating effects of favoritism across an entire generation in my family. Aware of just how humble I needed to be, and how I needed to separate myself from this favoritism, even if I couldn't get her to understand why (which I couldn't). It has left a legacy of... distrust, resentment, and a total lack of closeness that just makes me so sad. I have no relationship with my cousins which I can only presume is partly because of this.

I love her and forgive her, and just accept her the way she is since I know I cannot change her. But I have every opportunity to be a catalyst for change, to break the cycle of favoritism and resentment with God's hand in my life.