a lot of this project still only exists in the process, in an attempt to bring some of those stories out this is the first in what will be many snippets of journal entries that have contributed to this process
From October of 2010 - 8 years later
Both of my grandmothers died in October of 2002. I was 13. How do I reconcile my relationship to my grandmothers? In the last 8 years so much of my relationship to them has been formed in fantasy. I was denied the opportunity to form a mature relationship with them and I was cut off on the brink of maturity. My grandmothers couldn't make it to my Bat Mitzvah, they were both too sick at the time, one with alzthiemers, the other, with lung cancer.
My fathers mother, my jewish grandmother, listened to the service through my Aunts cell phone. When I went to visit her afterward I barely recognized the old woman sitting in the bed. It was 5 months before her death. She died on Columbus Day, a monday. The funeral was on wednesday. Her house felt so empty when we entered on Tuesday to clean up and make calls.
Her collection of sad clowns seemed fitting for the occasion. This house no longer held the warmth of the woman who made apple cake and briscut. My memories of her are so fleeting, I wonder what she would think of me today. It makes me sad that there are parts of me that I never got to share with her. But she was a woman who shaped me. The stories I hear of her give me strength, hope and laughter. She says her whole life started when she left Scranton for Philadelphia. She came to nursing school in the midst of WWII for nurse training and subsequent army service. But the war ended before her training and so she never had to serve. In her stories about nursing school we are at the same stage in our lives, her and I, but the context is also so different.