Someone mentioned their grandmother in a very moving and touching Twitter thread (she had come out to her family, terrified that they would reject her, and her grandmother in particular had done quite the opposite) and I got to thinking about how I never knew either of my grandmothers much.

My maternal grandparents both died before I was born (the result of my mother being near the bottom of the sibling list of a BIG family) and my paternal grandmother died when I was only four or five. (There’s a family tree around here somewhere, but who has time for that?) My few and hazy memories of her are probably more from the pictures and movies I saw of her than any actual memories of my own.

So if you have grandmothers, and they’re one of the good ones who are kind and thoughtful and giving and caring and nurturing and not one of the bad ones who torture their kids and make them sweep the ashes and cinders out of the fireplace and poison them with apples (I might be mixing my Disney metaphors badly here, but I’m really, REALLY tired) then give them a hug for me when COVID’s over and you can do that without infecting and killing them. In the meantime, just give them a call and tell them you love them.

Grandfathers, too. Same rules about good vs. bad, just substitute in some gender appropriate (or in this case, appropriately, some gender neutral or inappropriate) examples.

Damn, I’m tired. I need a grandmother to tell me it’s going to be all right and I’m doing great. And then give me cookies.

Mmmm, cookies…


Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul

2 responses to “Grandmothers

  1. Glad I’m not the only one who just doesn’t ‘get’ the whole grandmotherly love thing. Much like you, my mum was near the bottom of the chain, and I remember that grandmother only as a little monkey-like creature sitting in bed and mumbling at us. Our generation’s theory is that she took to her bed to avoid the attentions of my grandfather, and never left it after he died!
    As for my other gran, she was a tartar. My father escaped from her as soon as he could, before she forced him down the same road as his brother. Grandad was a cuddly sweetheart, but he died when I was 8. I actually hated my gran, and that made me feel guilty for most of the rest of my life.
    Say the word grandmother, and I go cold down my back. Just have to smile sweetly at all those grans I know who dote on their grandkids.
    Thanks for being my therapist today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I suspect the kindly grandmother icon is just a storytelling trope. I know plenty of women who fit the picture, but just as many like yours who don’t. Just like I know plenty of young and middle-aged women who are wonderful and many who are…not. I don’ think there’s a selection effect so the mean ones die off before reaching grandmotherly status, nor do I think they magically gain wisdom and compassion as a result of their advancing years. Maybe we just remember the nice ones more and mercifully forget the mean ones. Unless, of course, the mean ones are ours personally.

    Liked by 1 person

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