Friday, January 16, 2009
Happy / Sad
When I was a young child, I spent much of my time with my paternal grandmother. She was my most formative influence, the person I trusted and needed most. My mother was very young when she had me. She was an ambivalent parent. She struggled against my grandmother's huge personality. But my grandmother was not ambivalent about me. We lived in different units of the same triplex. We'd make dinner together, watch cartoons (and soaps), hang out. She'd had four boys. I was a daughter for her, finally. We were comfort for each other.
She was - and is - particularly fond of daisies, mums (her fave flower) and pussy willows. In fact, sometimes she still sends me cards with pussy willow buds in the envelope. Just to remind me of our shared experience. (Memory is so bittersweet, no? In some ways, my childhood was a sacrifice; my magnetic attachment to my grandmother its most substantive casualty.)
Every time I see a pussy willow bush, or stems at the florist, I must touch their gorgeous, furry little buds. I feel happy. Then sad. I don't know how to reconcile this conflict. I wish someone could tell me how.