Yesterday, I spent the morning with my Mommy, cousins, and my aunt and uncle. We celebrated Mother's Day with lots of cake and presents celebrating my youngest cousin's 3rd birthday. It was such a lovely brunch and I realized just how much I am going to miss this family. We weren't always super close growing up (my oldest cousins are 12 years older than me), but ever since I graduated college, I see them often and always look forward to it. They are all super accomplished, but down to earth, fun, and excellent company to enjoy way too much wine with!
After brunch (in my case too much frosting!), Mom and I headed to see my Grandmother. My Dad (it is his mom) went out east to see Sissy and the babies for Mother's Day. My parents like to take turns going out there, so they can give Sissy the most help possible, they are very kind like that.
Grandmother was her usual bitter self, but it was the good deed of the day. She deserved a visit because she gave birth to my Dad who just happens to be one of the best gents around.
During our visit, Grandma, spoke at us and NOT to us. She likes to do this. Grandma is very upset about her life and the way it turned out. It breaks my heart. She didn't love her life. She now tells us that she didn't love my Grandfather (who I miss dearly and who I believe had a major influence setting me up with Crush...I was closest with him and my mom's mother out of all of my grandparents).....
She is starting to reinvent the past to fit her theories. She tells us that my Grandfather didn't want my Dad to go to college (FALSE, my Grandfather was SUPER proud of how smart my dad was and encouraged him to work as hard as he could, so he could get an academic scholarship and my Dad did just that) and that my Grandfather died with tons of money that is in a hidden account (FALSE, he died with almost nothing and my Dad supports his mother entirely and pays for her living facility and caregiver and both are EXTREMELY expensive and she shows no appreciation....my Dad could put her in a nursing home, but he doesn't want to do it since he has some money saved).
My Dad has become very depressed since retiring and losing his father because he feels obligated to see my Grandmother every day and every day she sits and tells him these huge tales and it hurts him. He has started to fight back and he wasn't raised that way (to disrespect his elders), so now my Grandmother feels like he is taking my Grandfather's side and come on.....let my Grandfather rest in peace....he died still married to her. Why is she SO ANGRY????
The truth is that my Grandmother has never been a happy woman. She is the type that needs conflict to feel control. She was born to a very wealthy family and was raised a much higher class than my Grandfather was raised. She felt superior to him. Her father died suddenly of a heart attack at age 50 in the midst of the Depression and he had lost their fortune from making a bad investment a few months prior to his death....they were left with nothing. My Grandmother had to work to support her family at age 15 and her mother had a nervous breakdown. She married my Grandfather at 24, but now tells us that she could have married better, that she was forced to be low class....she married him out of desperation and for shelter.
Listening to her is exhausting...especially because you cannot dispute her stories.....
Everyone in my family loves Crush, including my Grandmother. Oooooohhhh, I do have to applaud Grandma for her tirades on Awful, I even have to admit that she gave him some good digs....and once referred to him as a troll which wasn't nice at all, but is not far from the truth.
She told me that Crush is everything she ever wanted yesterday.....she said, "Your fellow is what I should have had. He is tall, handsome, kind, gentile, and upper class. He is really a good find. Do whatever you can to marry him. Do not let him get away. You will never ever do better. Trust me. You are aging. Is his family okay with your weight and class level? They must see through it because you are Jewish, so with all of this intermarriage at least you have that going for you...."
I just sat there and.........laughed. I know it wasn't perhaps the best reaction, but my Mom and I looked at each other and had a full-out giggle fit. Her words are just words. I cannot let them bother me because it isn't worth it.
Weight-wise, I do have to work on it a bit, that is true...but I am not morbidly obese. Class-wise...I cannot even get into this lunacy...yes, Crush's family is very established, but they are not unapproachable and my family also (including MOST of my Grandmother's nieces and nephews) has tons of kind, successful, professional people in it....I do not know what she is talking about it....
Then she left me with this nugget of wisdom:
"Get thin, so when they say bad things about you, at least they will not be calling you fat.."
HIGH SCHOOL! OMG, my Grandmother is a mean 11th grader.
Yesterday, all of my lessons that I have been living became fully formed. My Grandmother helped me see that without happiness, life is not worth really living.
Finding that happiness is a personal mission and what makes one person happy cannot be said about another. Everyone needs to find their own destiny, their own calling, their own good place for them.
I am going to be everything that my Grandmother couldn't be because I plan to die happy.
It won't be just because of Crush (he will of course have a lot to do with it, but not EVERYTHING).
It won't be just because I may have money.
It won't be because I am a size six.
If I am blessed to live until 94, I will be happy because I was given the miracle of life and decided that life is too short to dwell on what went wrong.
What is important to recall is what went right.