(This is a grave marker from a cemetery near St Martins NB. I thought I'd add it for effect.)
My American grandmother passed away yesterday. Her name was Geneva. My Canadian grandmother is holding strong. Her name is Florence. Strange? Yes. But that's me. Strange. That's my family, too. Strange.
I wish I could say I knew her well. I used to stay with her a bit when I was a kid, after my father died. I found these visits confusing. I was not very old... maybe two or three. My sister and I stayed with various paternal relatives during these visits. I used to puke almost every time I went there. They would never let me call my mom. I missed my mom so much it physically hurt. Eventually, I had the courage to tell my mom I didn't want to go back. And I never did except for the occasional visit.
My family, unfortunately, should be the poster representatives of how NOT to treat a child after a traumatic experience involving the death of a parent. Sometimes I feel like Life's Great Experiment. But I hold my own these days.
So, really, a stranger has died. My father's mother. I didn't know him and I didn't know her. But they were a part of me and that part of me is fizzling out slowly. I'll always think of myself as Mike's daughter. What I really am, though, is Judy's baby. Judy is my mom. She deserves all the room left empty by the others. She's always been my favourite anyway.
I love you mom. I love you in an abstract sort of way, Grammy Doughty. Sorry you are gone. Sorry we never had much, you and I.