Monday, November 24, 2008

The end of an era

She was the second strongest woman I ever knew. The first, was her daughter P. Now Grandma is gone, and the woman who lead our family fights no more. She held strong for so many days, but inevitably passed this morning.

I can not express my emotion in a single blog, or defining moment. I am not that gifted, I can only flash through time to explain the circumstances.

Grandma and Grandpa have loved each other for 62 years. Grandpa worked nights for 30 years, still ran a farm, and together they raised 6 children, not including me! Grandma and Grandpa have my complete respect and make me proud to carry the family name. They are the ones who taught me to be a man. They are also the ones that kept me from slicing open my fathers throat when he was passed out from drinking, or from slicing my own to escape him when he was awake. They gave me the gift of life.

L, J, D, R, M, and P are the six children.

L - my father. L found his own unique way of parenting. I learned because he "Beat it into" me. What I learned was to hide the bruises, swallow the blood, live with the pain and remember one day I would be big enough to kill him. Enough said there, but let it be known, D his wife, bore witness to all of this, yet she did not care.

J - my aunt. J introduced me to animals. She should me they could be my friends no matter what. I could talk to them, not be judged by them, be free in heart and soul like them. J gave me the gift of trust.

D - my uncle. D showed me what a true family was. He and his wife have been married over 30 years now. They were what I construed as a normal family. D gave me the gift of hope.

R - my uncle. R showed me that I could see a man for all that he was, and learn from the best parts. He also showed me that I could be more then a servant. He showed me how to learn from the mistakes of others to improve myself. R gave me the gift of value.

M and P - my uncle and aunt (respectively). M & P were both quite young, and they will never admit anything, but they gave me freedom, and silence, and food. They showed me that fear and worry do not resolve anything, they are simply emotions. They gave me a window of time that allowed me to be a kid, and learn the lessons my father would never teach me. I could go on a great deal about the many, many gifts they gave me, but it would best be summarized by faith. Faith in myself, faith in the future, faith in humanity, (you get the idea)

So, these individuals, on my behalf, have all been sacrificing since the day of my birth, all because of the actions of my parents.

I had not been "home" for 20 years because of my parents. If I see either of them again, they will not survive my wrath, so I chose to run away. I now have a problem. I met my cousins, some of the grandchildren that I am a part of. They are younger then me, but I see hope in them. I see understanding. I see changes in acceptance. I see the future I did not think I had.

So, you see why I can not put a quick sentence to how I feel. What I do know is that I have a struggle ahead of me, but am going to keep my ears to the pulse of my family. Anything is possible, right Grandma?

Thank you Grandma, your life was beautiful, meaningful, and well spent. I love you.


Lys November 24, 2008 at 2:56 PM  

What a beautiful post, Predo. Your grandparents, aunts and uncles raised an amazing man. Sometimes you can, indeed, go home again.


(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl November 24, 2008 at 5:14 PM  

Dude, you just made me CRY. I KNOW your Grandma is VERY proud of you. You are not only more of a man than your father could ever hope to be--you are one of the kindest, gentlest, warmest, most caring people I know. Some members of your family may have helped that along a little, but the majority of that is YOU. Thank you for being you. xoxo, Moi P.S. Can't wait to see you Thursday, take a deep breath 'cause the hug that's coming is HUGE.

belladella November 24, 2008 at 5:22 PM  

I don't know what to say. Beautiful, just beautiful. I am always sad to hear the struggles that some have have to endure, especially at the hands of the people that are supposed to love you the best. I am sorry for that. And I don't know you very well (yet) but I know you are so sweet and so funny and so caring and I could go on on.

I know your Grandma is so proud and she is looking over you know- as she always has.

Hugs to you! (care of SSG)

big hair envy November 24, 2008 at 6:20 PM  

OMG. Where do I even begin? Perhaps with the tears that are now rolling down my face. Perhaps with the incredible love that only one's grandmother can have for a child. Perhaps with the intolerance that we all experience at one time or another with our families. Or, perhaps, the love that sometimes comes from people we don't even really know.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, my dear. You are loved more than you know.....JUST for being YOU:) Your grandmother will be with you - ALWAYS.

Suz Broughton November 25, 2008 at 12:53 PM  

My deepest condolences on the loss of your grandmother. I am so sorry. I am so glad that you went to see her. She must have been happy to see you.
This was well written. I can relate to a lot of it. You have overcome so much. Your family should be really proud of you.

Frita November 26, 2008 at 10:36 PM  

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. She sounds like a special woman.

I too can relate to much of this. I relied quite a bit on extended family to get through some very painful times with my parents. It's amazing to me how often the ones that are supposed to love us the most are often the ones that hurt us the most.

I'm glad that you were able to reconnect with some of the family. Sometimes even through death, people can continue to influence and effect our lives.

Hugs to you!!

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