Before I get started, I just wanted to say the idea of being a Silver Blogger really tickles my fancy. When I first saw @galenkp's post, I thought it had something to do with silver coins and I wondered why they wanted to talk about Grandparents and then I got it. Immediately I wanted to check it out :D.
The other day, my friend had sent me the Golden Girls theme song, and we had a convo about how they were supposedly in their 50's during the show. I love the Golden Girls but- I remember watching way back then and thinking that's old. So, here I am not feeling Gold, but when you say Silver, now that tag I like. So whoever came up with this, I would like to say, "Niceeeeee".
Now for my Grandparent Stories....
I only got to know one grandparent, my mother's mother and we did not have that grandmother-grandchild relationship where we talked or hugged.
She was a single parent with school-going kids, and two grandkids, me and my brother sent to live with her because schools were “better in big towns” logic. Most of her time was spent being a functional grandmother and mother. She made sure that we were fed, clothed, went to school - that kind of thing.
As a precocious child and always fighting with my aunties who were just a few years older, I wasn’t a favourite. Actually, I was the least favourite and that's putting it mildly. I would get into trouble and Ammamma (mother’s mother in my mother tongue) would call me to stand in front of her, look her in the eye and swear I did not steal that week’s tithe or said something inappropriate to the neighbour and then to top it, allow my aunties to discipline me.
I grew up frustrated and angry with my Grandmother. As far as I was concerned she was a terrible woman, always believing whatever people told her about me and I was pretty sure she hated me. (Oh, some of those stories were true just in case you are wondering.)
I became an adult and did the obligatory visits because my Mum loved her Mum and I loved my Mum. For years though, I disliked my Grandmother and then became indifferent. When she passed on, I did all the necessary prayers but it was just that. Fulfilling expectations and then moved on.
A few years back, after one of those many long talks I used to have with Mum, I realised my Grandmother did what she could and loved me the way she knew how. She wasn’t a Grandmother from those TV families, but she said yes to taking care of me even though she lived in a tiny flat. A 500 sqft, 1 room, 1 bath matchbox which already housed 6 people.
She said yes, even though she barely managed to feed the existing hungry mouths; she was on the list to receive a portion of tithe every other week, she worked in a construction site carrying bricks on her head under the hot sun, and she made sure nobody went to bed hungry. She said yes, even though she had two mentally unstable children who were already a handful.
She said yes, even though my parents, for the first few years, could not financially help her to take care of me and my brother.
She said Yes!
Her kindness did not come from a place of "could" but "just do". She did not do it in the hopes of getting something back, she did it to give her daughter's dreams a chance even though she was struggling. She may not have been the kind of Grandmother who shared stories that made me feel good or advice that made me do the right thing, but she gave without saying a word. For all the times I made her angry, not once did she threaten to send me home, or demand gratitude for what she was doing.
I may not have had the chance to say thank you, but I take this opportunity for her kindness to live on. My Mum practised kindness triple-fold (* we used to tease her by calling her Mother Teresa*) and I know where she got it from. I experienced a woman's determination to give even when she was in need herself and the age-old saying "the left-hand does not need to know what the right hand is doing." Matthew 6:3
So thank you Mary Jacob for your kind heart, even though it was old-school it came from a good place.
Here's the original post on how to take part in this challenge. Great way to let your Grandparent stories live on forever on the immutable chain ;p
Thank you for reading,
PS: My grandmother is the one sitting in the pics and the baby's me :D