I have come to the conclusion that 2016 is actively trying to die in a fire. Or kill us all. Not much of a difference, really.
Posts have been piling up on me: my birthday (come and gone), observations, rants (though nothing new to add to the Dear Asshat series). But the true shit-show that is this year keeps on going.
My grandmother – my dad’s mother – passed away this week. I at least found out from my sister. She found out by going to visit our grandmother.
Our family excels at broken communication.
I met Grammy King when I was about six (she and my dad hadn’t been on speaking terms for years) at my sister’s wedding. I don’t remember that. Even then, I had the smile-and-nod down pat. In a giant family like ours, no one actually remembers everyone.
I remember meeting her the second time. She stopped at Dad’s house maybe a few days, or a week, or two later. My sister and I (the sister who’s only a year older, not the one who’d just gotten married) were playing outside. Dad wasn’t there, so his secretary brought her over from the office to introduce our grandmother to us.
When Dad’s secretary asked if I remembered meeting her at the wedding, I said no. Awkward and embarrassed, I knew it was the wrong answer even if it was the truth. My world was exploding. I panicked. I’m not even sure I’d known I had another grandmother. What should we call her? “Grammy” was taken and it felt wrong to call someone else that – like I was erasing the grandmother I’d known my whole, short life.
After that, I saw her a few times a year. I loved listening to her stories. She had a lot of them, and they even stayed mostly the same between retellings.
Storytelling runs in my family.
And bad news keeps rolling in, whether from news sources or people I love. I’m still looking for a turning point to all the bad news this year. It has to come sometime. Right?