August 14, 2009

September 11,1930-August 8, 2009

So. I've had a fair number of important life events occur in the past two and a half weeks since I last wrote.

I got an apartment, and my lease beings September first. I like the place a lot, and it's super metro-friendly. Great access to restaurants and important shops like the one and only Target in DC and a grocery store. Most important, Sir is welcome to accompany me. And his rent is cheap.

Bales got a temporary position in broadcast, putting us in a similar position and allowing us both to feel much more comfortable about the big move.

In other, less exciting news, I've now officially attended a funeral. My grandmother, Mary Jane--or Honey--died on Saturday morning. Kate wrote about it here.

I guess I don't know how to feel. I never felt like she loved me. I know that's a terrible thing to say about a grandmother, but I just felt like she found me to be, I don't know, a pain. She introdcued me to her friends at her 50th wedding anniversary as follows: "This is my grand-daughter, Chris. She's not as nice as she could be."

It was awkward at the funeral and the wake (complete with quite a liquor selection, at her request), hearing her friends talk about how much she was loved, and to feel like I never knew that woman at all.

Sure, I have good memories of the Joseph Beth trips with all the grandkids (I have all kinds of memories--and photos--of all the grandkids together, but can't think of when we would have all been together, but all the same). We all got to pick out a book and she would take us to the cafe and oh! the cheesecake!

But I also can't explain the pain that it causes me to hear my mother say, in response to the question "how are you?" after her mother died, "I don't know. I guess I sort of feel like I've been mourning not having a mother my whole life." And then, breaking into tears, "Am I a bad mom? Do you guys hate me? Will you guys come visit me, and not resent me for wanting that?" The fact that my mother fears that--again, I can't explain how much it hurts to know the pain that her mother caused her. (She's an excellent mother, by the way, and I won't resent having to visit her.)

And also, on the way to Jacksonville 3 summers ago, my father and I played this car game where you ask "Five Things" questions, such as "What are your 5 biggest regrets?," or "What are your five favorite memories?" In response to the question "What 5 things are you proudest of?" my father answered, among 4 other things, "Teaching your mother that she didn't have to listen to her mother, how to deal with her, how to be okay with that relationship."

On the other hand though, I cried deeply. I miss her. She was funny. She had the hardest head of anyone, and--er--I may or may not have inherited that. People loved her, and she was, at times, fun to be around. She caused a lot of pain, yes, but she also was my grandmother, and I loved her. I wish I had been able to laugh with her, to feel the things that her friends said to me when they shook my hand. Or to understand what exactly Jane meant when she said, "She loved you. Those are the things that never go away." Or to know what happens when she is Mary Jane, and not Honey, the name we used as her family.

I don't know, as I said, I'm just not sure how to feel. I told mom that it ended up being harder than I would have thought, and she said, "Of course it is, for you. You're a sap."

Stolen from Kate's blog, Honey's wedding photo, fifty-five years ago the day before my sister's wedding:

(As a side note, she hates the dress. I love it, except that I learned recently it was green, and she referred to it as "the practical choice.")

(As another side note, mom insists that the sap comment was not ill-intentioned, and she loves me, and wants me to inform the blogosphere that she's the best mom ever.)

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