Both sets of my grandparents/family are very different. My mom’s family is very energetic. We like to have adventures. We like to get out and do something and have a blast. We joke around and play games and have made many fun memories over the years. I always like to go home when I know that the family is getting together.
My dad’s family is very different. Overall, they are serious. If there is teasing, it is usually at the expense of others. One of my aunts will not let me forget about some incident that happened when I was a baby. I am tired of her bringing up the story because obviously, I do not remember it and do not find it funny at all. This family would rather sit and talk than get up and do things. While the conversations, can be great, they are also more serious. It is my grandma on my dad’s side that I am going to write about today.
I have a really difficult time figuring her out. Sometimes she can be very supportive of me. There are other times when it seems like she wants nothing to do with me. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I got a birthday card that contained only an apology that it was late when it was not late at all. It actually kind of hurt my feelings because of the note and for her forgetting the date of my actual birthday.
When I go home to my parents (which does not happen very often), my dad always tells me that they want to see me. He almost makes it sound like an obligation and gets mad at me if it does not happen. But when I am home for only a few days, there are some things that I want to do. And it is not enjoyable if it becomes an obligation. I should want to spend time with them on my own will. And as an adult, I am free to make that decision. So it is obvious that my grandma cares in this situation.
Then, there was the ‘gift’ that I mentioned earlier where she gave me all of my old school pictures in a photo album. She did not keep a single photo because even my senior picture is in the book. It really upsets me that she does not care enough to have a picture of me on her wall. She knew that I did not want the pictures because when she gave me the book at Thanksgiving, she was very firm about me not leaving it. Of course I forgot to take it because it meant nothing to me. The grandma on my mom’s side gave me the same gift but it only contained the little mini-pictures and they were labeled and were in a rather special little photo album. And I know that the large school photos of me are still hanging up because I still see them when I go there. It is not like I want to see myself because I think that I am that great but I just think it is a sign of caring.
Occasionally, I will get birthday presents from my grandma and other times I do not. It is not that I expect gifts as an adult. But it is completely random when I do receive a gift. And I have noticed with my younger brothers that if they get money in their birthday cards, it is not even the same amount. My grandma will give gifts at the most random times though. I remember one time I was given pajamas to take on a school trip. They were not conservative at all which was kind of a surprise considering they were from my grandma. It was not a problem though because they did not even fit me. I guess it was the thought that counted. I have gotten some good presents from her over the years. Lately, she goes and picks up secondhand dishes and household items for me but what she does not realize is that I have lived in my apartment for three years and have everything I need. So they just end up going back to Goodwill. Again, it is the thought that counts.
Finally, there were the events right after the death of my mom’s mom. Ironically, my family was at my dad’s family reunion when my dad received a call that my grandparents had been in a car accident. There were no details at that time so my parents took off, leaving my brothers and I in the care of the people around us. I just had that feeling that something was wrong At one point, someone asked me where my parents were and I started crying. My grandma did not like that because we had no details. Then, later, when I was talking about the plans my family had with my grandma and grandpa from my mom’s side for the next day, I was told that the plans were probably off which really upset me again because I had just gotten in trouble for thinking negatively.
When the call finally came about my grandparents, my grandpa handed the phone to my aunt and made him take it. Then, she had a quick conference with my grandparents and that is when I knew something was wrong. When they finally decided to tell us the news, only my oldest brother and I were told. It was actually one of my aunts that took us home and everyone else stayed and my other brothers found out much later.
That night, my grandparents got after me for not eating. I may be thin but I do not have an eating disorder and also do not like being told what to do. After what I had been through that day, I did not think that I should have to eat if I did not feel like it. I remember angrily grabbing the pizza slicer (they decided they would order pizza since it was a crazy time) and cutting a slice in half. I showed them how angry I really was.
The last event that I remember from those horrible days was when my grandparents both told me that I needed to be strong. That really upset me. I had just lost an important person in my life and it was like they were telling me to show no emotion.
I just cannot figure my grandma (or my grandpa) out. It is like she cares at times but not all the time. If it were any other family member, I would say that of course she loves me because that is typical of most family. However, the actions do not always indicate love to me but rather resentment or not important.