It is what it is (Mother's Day)

This sounds like another bum you out story but it is what it is. Real life should only bum you out in and as far as the First Noble Truth states, that Life is Suffering and the End of Suffering. (if you follow the eightfold path) The word "suffering" (Dukka) would be bettered translated as having square wheels on a oxen cart. aka a rough ride)....But I digress.

My Great grandmother (Father's side) died giving birth to twin boys, one of which was my Grandfather (duh!) The family, being unable to raise two boys without a mother in mid-state Vermont, gave them away to separate families, one in VT and one in Massachusetts. Hence the reason that the name that my family carries is not the name of blood but of the adoptive family. (Being given to another family to be raised in those days required no formal paperwork or adoption contracts. A handshake did fine)

My Grandmother married the Vermont twin who was by this time living in the Southbridge area of Massachusetts and had three daughters and one son. My grandfather was hospitalized for depression on many occasions and also sought solace in the bottle. Two of the daughter's also spent time in mental institutions for short stays of convalescence. One of the three daughters was murdered when she was in her late twenties. In and about the time of her murder, my father was married and was away at the WCC camps as was true of many who sought work during and after the depression. My father then went to war, found himself a POW by wars end and returned home to find that his wife had a son. Not his, as the time line would show, so he left her.

My Great grandfather (my mother's side) was a teetotaler Scottish preacher and a very abusive man from what I have been led to believe, had many children. One of then was my grandfather who married my Irish grandmother. They were a logging and farming family. Many of the first of their eleven children were born in the logging camps and were brought out by litter. They raised their children at the base of Mount Grace until just a few weeks after my mother's high school graduation, the house burned to the ground.

After the war, my father was employed by the State of Massachusetts as a cook in a large institution for the mentally disturbed. As you could live on grounds, my mother also worked there as a phone operator and a mail clerk. They met after she tied a string to his mail in his PO box and pulled it away as he tried to reach in for it.

By this time, my grandmother on my father's side had divorced my grandfather (a catholic no-no) and moved with her new beau to upstate VT. My father was also divorced from his first wife and married my mother in the front hall of my mother's family's home.

My parents had four children. I am number three.

Mothers seemed to be different back then. Not that they were poor at mothering, but their mothering seemed to mimic that of raising cows. You were well fed and well looked after. All of your material needs were met and a few of your wants as well. They weren't much for snuggling, hugging and an I love you. You were potty-trained, disciplined, schooled and raised in a fashion that seemed to me to being akin to raising your calves to grow up to be good cows and bulls. Either you grow up to give good milk, be a good sire, or present yourself as a good piece of meat.

Not sure when this changed. The Lady and I love to hug our kids and now especially the grand kids. My oldest daughter, the mother of the dingo, my tiny dancer, is a great mother in this way. I always tell the kids that I want to squish them like a grape and go all kissly-wissly on them.
Clearly there is much wrong with the world these days. But loving your kids and telling them that you love them and you support them in their failures and successes, is not one of them.

I miss my Mom, but she clearly lost out on many joys. I love being a grandparent. The Lady is a great Grandmother and mother. Too bad the same could not of been said in my mother's memory. She did a good job raising me and was a poor grandmother to my kids. I am most sorry for her.

Comments

{illyria} said…
that was a damn good recollection. i'm glad you're a great grandfather and the Lady an excellent grandmother. makes this world a better place. xx.
Michelle said…
isn't it strange that a lifetime seems too short to completely alter the latent learning we've been party to. but you've done a grand thing with the physical affection just for the sake of it. i still feel uncomfortable hugging my dad, he never hugs back just stoops forward-which for him is huge. but awwrh..kissly wissly! i just love that :-)
Tim said…
Hey Little Miss Norway! I may be old (52) but I'm not a Great Grandpa yet! Geeeeeezzzzz.
Mich - kissly - wissly to you!!!!