My own Grandmother hates to talk about this issue. I only see her once a year, if I am lucky, and regardless of her feelings, her anxiety, her guilt and apprehension, the topic always get’s brought up, in some way or another. I’ve never told her everything; I will never tell her more than she knows. I don’t like thinking about it, let alone talking to my Grandmother about it.
But sometimes…sometimes…the pain wells up and I want to scream: “YOU, of all people, called me a liar.” But I never will. I think when she looks in my eyes, she hears that anyway, and that guilt eats at her heart.
I love my Granny more than silly little words can describe. She did call me a liar, she did grab a broom and she swept, diligently and with purpose, all of our lives and their twisted mishaps under a heavy and frequently stained rug. But she also built a life for me atop that rug. She sent me school clothes, new sneakers so I could play sports, she sent me cards with personalized letters asking how I was, and what she could do to help. In her, I found my love for words. Weekly correspondences dating back to my preteen years instilled in me a love for writing, for communicating in a special, personalized ways…but it never did improve my spelling. She looked out for us as best she could, as best she knew how, as best as time and situations would allow her.
She regrets so much. I know she does. She let us down, she knows it. But I can’t blame her, nor can I hold it against her. In her mind, way back when, saying “things like this happen” was an easy response-because we live in a sick fucking world where things like this happen. I guess she’d seen it before; growing up in West Virginia must have brought her a fucked-up situation or two (I am openly mean about the South-not sure why…but I am). It was a different time, and she was still very young for a Grandmother…she just didn’t know how to handle it.
We’re very close now. As close as two people can be who are separated by thousands of miles and a few very dramatically different generations. But I know she’s a democrat that supports President Obama and his administrations social agenda-we share that her and I. We can talk about politics normally. We can discuss the batshit crazy shit the Grand Ol’ Party does…but not this election season. Nope. Not happening. Our letters are bone dry on political discussions. We don’t want to go down that painful road…so we just don’t mention it; instead, we write a lot about the weather, my teaching load, the groundhogs leaving her grass alone, ants in our houses, yard sales, friends, family, and other fun things. But we won’t talk about these issues…but that’s okay-other Granny’s have stepped forward and voiced a very loud and resounding FUCK YOU to all mention of “legitimate rape” and the wonders of the female body. Thanks Grannys. If my Granny knew how to use a computer, I’m sure she’d enjoy this.