Friday, May 02, 2008
A novelty and reflections on a life misplaced
First off, my new gnome lights. Yes, I bought novelty lights in the shape of little gnomes. Now my family is saying I love and collect gnomes. Let me set you straight, not really, but it's slowly turning into a minor fetish.
Yesterday I spent most of the day at my grandparents house in West Seattle. My mother's childhood home and the place of many of my childhood memories. I love my mum's room with it's french doors leading out on a little closed balcony. I love the lion's head down in the garden below. His name is Aslan, naturally.
Now it's just my grandpa living in this big house, and it feels kinda lonely without my grandma there. She's still living, but she's at an Adult Family Home where they can take good care of her with her dementia. There's bits and pieces of her still around my grandpa's home. Her perfume, make-up, clothing, jewellery and I often find myself looking through them wondering what she was like as a young girl, mother. She wasn't a milk and cookies grandma, she was strict and hard on my brothers and me. For all that, we respected her as she was and still is our grandma. I just don't know much about her, from her in her own words. On the flip-side of this is my own family who has raised me with tales of my family history. I know what my parents were like a kids, and teen-agers, adults. All the parts I wasn't present for, I've experienced through their words and stories. So I wonder, looking at my grandma's things, what was her life like before I met her? I wish I could know, I wish she could have told me. Taught me how to sew without a pattern, cook by instinct. With each thing I discover about her, I want to learn more only now she barely remembers herself. It's a sad thing, and I pray that some day I might learn more about her so I can tell her story for her, to my children, and they can tell their children in turn.