It’s 2010. Hard to believe, I know. A new decade, a new realm of possibilities, but this is also the end of an era. As eager as I am for certain aspects of the last few years to be over and done, there are certain memories and promises I carry forth.
I realized just this morning that I am no longer a grandchild. My husband has not been a grandchild since he was 8 years old and seems perplexed by my sense of loss. Though, even he, being the last in the family, senses the loss of no longer being under my grandmother’s protective wing.
I was, in many ways, much more of a granddaughter than a daughter. Not to say I don’t love and respect my mother, I very much do. It is just that there were such clear expectations, rituals, and rites at 401 Fairfax that did not exist in other facets of my life. Though I often snubbed my nose up in my difficult years at the audacity, there was always a comfort in black and white, right and wrong, good and bad. There was a script and a movement not unlike a play, and we knew our parts. We were bound in that way.
Of course we are no longer bound, and seem to have no intention to carry forth those bonds so carefully sewn together by my grandmother. The tenacity of her spirit is probably best seen in how she did keep such different and difficult people coming back year after year; to say their parts, dance her dance.
So now I am free, like the rest of my family, to shuff off those meaningless ties that bound and move forward with the family I have created, rather than then the one that created me. And it is only now I see her in myself --- In all aspects, in both my most charming and frustrating traits.
There is that tear jerking scene in the Family Stone, where Rachel McAdam’s character is decorating the Christmas tree wearing her dead mother’s ring and we she how she is now her mother. I don’t have a ring but there are moments I feel those lessons learned and examples set from so long ago wash over me the same way.
I am no longer a grandchild. I am a daughter, a wife, and mostly a mother. I run a house full of dogs and food and love and football. I balance my checkbook, buy groceries, plan birthday parties and take my child to and from school everyday. I owe all of this to her of course. I am no longer a grandchild, but I shall always be Louise Mullins’ granddaughter.