My Gran

Last night I was on my way home when my brother called me. He and the family were headed to the home town because my grandmother was not doing so well. He also let me know that there was some food on the stove. You see, I live with my brother and his wife and son, but I am not welcome at my parent’s house. Because of this, I was not safely able to visit my grandmother for the past 5 years.

At 9:17 this morning I got a call from my brother, Gran passed away. I was gutted. You see, she was amazing – genuinely good. She brought up 10 (yes TEN) boys and a girl (lost one girl at 3 months) practically alone. My Grandfather, a product of his time, was not particularly interested in children until they were old enough to help out. He was also well known for boozing it up after work and passing out right after dinner. On top of that, he’d take the family savings, run off to Canada with his buddies on a whim and go “hunting”- for weeks at a time. This taught her to always have some cash in her tampon box (the one place he’d never look), to make sure she always had a car of her own (rare at that time), and to have sons who weren’t to macho to wash a dish (or wipe an infant’s ass).

My favorite Gran story is when my dad was born. See, My Grandfather was in the Army in WW2, Beach of Normandy and all that. They got married before he left and my uncle was made then and born while he was away. My dad was the next child born, thus the first pregnancy that Grandpa witnessed as a father. In those days, men hung out chain-smoking in the waiting room. NEVER going into the delivery. So.. hours pass and a healthy baby boy was born. Grandfather brought my Nanna some flowers, patted her hand and said “Now that wasn’t so bad was it?” *POW* Granny clocked him in the jaw. I love my gran.

Other than that bit of slap-stick (true) humor, Gran was very rarely cross. She was stern, expected good behavior, but let children be children. Laughing, crying, showing off captured bugs, making forts out of spare lumber – she loved it all. There was no sassing her, it simply was not an option. Oh so many memories. Gran was the one person I knew who would always love me.

When I transitioned, my mother disowned me and my father couldn’t stand the sight of me. The extended family had fuel for their gossip for years after that. I got a call from my Grandmother. She wanted to let me know that she always loved me and what I had to do was between me and God. She didn’t understand this, but a parent (and grand parent) simply loves their children. Aside from a recent call to wish her a happy birthday, that was my last conversation with her. I was going to be named after her if I was born a girl – this was my first choice for a new name. This is not my new name. My mother made sure of that through well aimed guilt and tears.

I am not to go to the funeral. The family (aside from a couple cousins and my brothers) feels I’d be a distraction and cause conflict. My mother broke years of silence to specifically tell me I was not welcome. She made it clear the only reason she was making the call was because my father was upset enough as it is. I don’t know if I will go or not. I have no investment in the Catholic ritual nor do I feel the need to share my grief with any of those folks. I do however, want to see my Gran one last time.


~ by laughriotgirl on October 9, 2009.

7 Responses to “My Gran”

  1. I feel deeply for you. Is it possible for you to be able to make a private visit before the funeral?

  2. Jim, I totally don’t want to get angsty and stuff – I hate angst. So, yeah I’ll get through and I think this post helped me more than I thought it would.

  3. huggs

  4. Thanks everyone. I have decided to take a few days off and go the the hometown. We’ll see what happens.

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