Today I visited my grandmother and she was loving on Mr. O big time! He got lots and lots of kisses and coochie coochie coos from his Nana. She's going to be 86 in a few weeks and even though she's been slowing down these last few years Mr. O's tiny toes and giggles always perk her right up. We had a lovely afternoon and after we said our goodbyes and I pulled out of her street I found myself driving to see my other grandparents.
It had been a long time since I had been to visit so I had to drive up and down the tiny little lanes a few times. There were so many new additions and the small little saplings that I had in mind as landmarks had now grown taller than me.
I was about to give up and try again another day when I spotted my grandfather's headstone. I'm glad I found him first because while our relationship wasn't particularly a close one there were never any bad feelings. He was always happy to see me and the memories I do have of him are good ones. My father's father died when I was in college and I regret that I never made more of an effort to get to know who my grandfather was as a person. I took Mr. O out of the car and introduced him to his great grandfather. I told O a few stories about my V.o.Vo and took a photo to send to my Dad of his grandson meeting his father. Some might think that's odd but my Dad will love it.
My mother's parents are in the next row over and I wasn't sure I wanted to visit until I got to their headstone. My relationship with them is complicated and painful. My grandmother was a wonderful grandmother and I only ever felt extremely loved and cherished by her. She died when I was 13 and it was devastating. Years after her death I learned some things that really made me see her in a whole new way. I struggle with my feelings for the woman I knew as my beloved Gram and how I feel about her now that I know the truth about the woman who was my mother's mother. I told her that I didn't forgive her for not protecting her babies from her husband but that I also remember how much she loved me. I told her I was there to honor that love and I introduced her to my son. Even with all of my conflicting feelings of love, loss, anger and disappointment it was a really powerful moment for me. Oh, and I cried. I cried because just for a moment I let go of the anger and hate and I just missed my Gram and I wish she was here to snuggle my baby and love on him. Poor Mr. O's head was soaked. I then promised my boy that I would always keep him safe and that no one would ever hurt him if I had a breath left in my body. I told her that is what a mother is supposed to do and said my goodbyes.