Saturday, January 26, 2013


Wendy's comment yesterday about me having someone to love me when I was a child got me thinking about my relationship with my Grandmother as it was then, not as how I choose to remember it now. It's uncomfortable to write some of what I'm going to write but I want to be honest, here, with myself and with you.

I told the exact truth in my last post and in everything I have written about my feelings for my Grandmother. I loved her then. I love her now. I love her memory unceasingly. Laura Hingsburger was a dear, dear, woman. I see her exceptionality now, though, different than I did then. Now I see her as a woman with a big heart who wouldn't be told by others which of her grandchildren had worth and which did not. She was a tough, strong, woman of independent spirit. I admire her - now.


Not so much.

You see, while I loved Grandma, I thought there was something wrong with her. I got a type of approval from her that was withheld by other adults. I don't want to suggest that my childhood was a desert of affection because that wouldn't be true. There were various moments and various people across time who let me know that I was cared about. But Grandma's affection included a kind of voluntary and all encompassing 'knowing' that was a rare thing. One day I should write about the strange lady that came to my parents party - it's a story I've never told and forgot about until just now.


I thought that Grandma was weird - good weird, but weird.

I thought that Grandma was strange - good strange, but strange.

I thought that Grandma was somehow broken.

And what I feared, more than anything else, was that Grandma was wrong. That those who saw me as lazy, or as stupid, or as ugly, or as unworthy -  were right. I wondered if they laughed at Grandma behind her back, none would have the courage to do it to her face. I worried that she would be mocked because she didn't mock me.

And, maybe, I didn't respect her love enough.

Maybe, I saw her love, given, as less valuable that the love that had been withheld.

I don't like admitting that - but its true.

Now, of course, I see Grandma as someone not broken - but instead as someone entirely whole. I still see her as weird and strange because, of course, entirely whole people are, aren't they.

I'm good with weird ... and I've got to be ... because I aim to be whole.


Anonymous said...

Some very deep and honest reflections here Dave. Thanks for sharing with us. Looking back through glasses coated with experience gives us different perspectives. I think all of us, knowing the truth about ourselves deep down, are suspicious if someone likes us for ourselves. It's like they must be very flawed if they are able to see and accept us. As you pointed out - we were wrong. I think that is why God's love is so important to me - before I ever knew Him, He loved me. He knows everything about me - yet still loves me. Don't we all long for that unconditional honest love and acceptance??

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

while reading this post I had to think of a poem by Mary Oliver "To begin with, the sweet grass" and a sentence from this poem "We do one thing or another; we stay the same, or we change.
Congretulations, if
you have changed."

Some feelings are very complex so is the human life.

Take care

Jeannette said...

Thank you, Dave.
This resonates very deeply with me, and I'm not yet sure why.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Beannie says:

I love your comment about weirdness! I too am weird, and proud of it! I have had children I work with tell me, "you're weird", and I wholeheartedly agree. We have a lot of fun together that way, and they still keep learning what they need to learn. Weirdness makes life a whole lot easier!