In a few days, it will mark 1 year since my grandmother passed away. The picture I have inserted in this post is actually the picture I posted the day I found out she passed. This quote speaks volumes to me as I feel it to be so true; I’ve never really had enough time. In regards to my maternal grandmother, there just wasn’t enough time to mend (or build, really.) a relationship that should have been.
I think this stemmed from the relationship my grandmother had with my mother. According to my mother, they had never gotten along, even when my mother was just a small child. My mother had always called my grandmother by her first name; I don’t think I ever heard her say the words “Mom” to her.
Although they had a less then favorable relationship, they did how ever find a way to get along. Whether that was purely for show for the kids is above my head, but it kept things normal for us kids. I will always be grateful for that.
The moments that have really tugged on my heart strings were moments leading up to her death. Dating back to when I was a child, about 13 years old, my parents (whom were already separated for 9 years by this point) had decided I was old enough to choose which house I wanted to live at. To make a very long and sad story short, I chose to live with my father due to the (seemingly) apparent fact that my mother and I just couldn’t get along. After a while of not seeing her, I had gone for a visit and she had expressed to me how much of a failure she felt. At this moment in time, she didn’t go much into detail about her feelings on this matter. I am assuming that being because I was a child and even though I protested daily that I knew everything and could understand everything, I did and could not. As I got older and these fights and confessions started to get more detailed, I quickly found out that the relationship I now had with my mom was quickly escalating (or decreasing, however you want to look at it) to mirror what was going on between my mother and my grandmother.
When I finally came to this realization, it destroyed me. The turning point was when I really got to see her pain. Circa 2011, when I went through a terrible tragedy, and then continued pain into 2012 when I lost my best friend to a car accident and my uncle to stage 4 cancer, my world was quickly falling apart. Aside from the pain from these events, I had the pain of seeing the pain in my mothers eyes every time I sought help in dealing with my problems (she works in the mental health field).
At first glance, I believed my mom to be sad about my grandmothers departure from this earth. In hindsight, although I knew that contributed to her sorrow, I knew other factors where at play. I think she felt similar as I did; that they never took the time to mend what was broken between them.
I feel pain for my mother, for the loss of her mother. I feel pain for her regrets and her endless supply of “what if’s”. I vow to never let us get to that point. I don’t want to find myself in her shoes, standing at the doors of her funeral and turning in the other direction and walking away.
Mend relationships that matter most.