November 15, 2010

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Which old witch? The wicked witch!

Through the magic of Facebook (because my dad cut me out of his life) I learned that my last living grandparent, my dad's mother, died of stomach cancer last night. Most people get pretty upset about losing a grandparent, but most grandparents like their grandkids. Ours not so much.

We never really knew why she didn't like us, but even at a young age we could tell. There was a certain coldness surrounding our dad's mom (who will be referred to as MM) that was present as far back as I can remember. Maybe MM didn't like that we weren't boys (my dad's brothers and sisters all had boys). Maybe MM resented our dad, the baby, leaving the nest. Maybe we symbolized something negative to her. Maybe she blamed me, the first born, for being female and setting precedence. Who the fuck knows.

Today I wondered what that funeral would be like. MM adored her daughters and grandsons, but she picked fights with her sons, her son's wives, and her granddaughters. She wasn't a warm, loving person to anyone (except her dog) and seemed to will the time to pass faster the rare occasion she was put in charge of us. What will people say of her? She was married to and divorced from the same man multiple times, made no effort to contact her sons for years, and created a very exclusive group of individuals she spent her time with. What will everyone else be feeling? Who will say the eulogy? Who will really mean what they say to others? Most of the family (my sisters and I excepted) decided to make amends with MM when they learned she had cancer. But I call bullshit on that. Just because someone is dying doesn't mean they deserve peace. It's like a loophole in Christianity I can't ignore: if you're a terrible person and you have no regard for others you can ask God for forgiveness right before you die and be redeemed and get into heaven. Which means heaven could be filled with those murderers and rapists who got a priest right before the chair. Unfair! Live your life how you want to be remembered!

So, this is how I remember my dad's mother:
When I was less than 2 years old I was blamed for pooping in the corner of MM's living room: a baby taking off her diaper, pooping in the corner, and then putting her diaper back on was a more likely scenario than MM's dog taking a shit in the house. But that was small beans. Here are some of the things our wonderful grandmother said to my very young sister:

Sister: My gramma died.
MM: That's nice. Do you want strawberries on your ice cream?

MM: Do you like that doll?
Sister: Yes.
MM: Would you like to have that doll?
Sister: Yes!
MM: OK, I'll leave it to you in my will.

Sister: Hi Grandma!
MM: Here honey, throw this away, will you?

There were more, but these ones cut pretty hard. And my poor sister just kept on going back, all excited her grandma was here, and kept getting verbally slapped in the face. Eventually she gave up. I think we all got Christmas cards a couple of years ago, but in the last almost decade the only contact we had with her was at our uncle's funeral (which was heartbreaking) and that was only what couldn't be avoided.

"Kickin' it with grandma. Sorry, one I didn't get along with."

Lastly, it would be fucking fantastic if Facebook stopped suggesting I "friend" my dad. The bastard cut me out of his life because he's getting tail and I don't want to sit there and listen to him brag about it. No, we're not "friends."

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