Visiting home, as an adult

Posted by mouthyb | Posted in | Posted on 4:07 PM

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I haven't seen my grandmother and aunt for years, intentionally. I had something of an entertaining childhood, the kind which takes years of therapy to deal with. As a result of my grandmother urging me to just forget about it and play nice, I've been avoiding family, as hurtful as I found not having contact with my grandmother.

Today, after years, I gave in and met her, my mother and father and my aunt out, for lunch.

How strange it is to be an adult and see ones relatives old, from the huge gods of ones childhood to these small people, shrunken by age and made somewhat more pleasant. I find I cannot quite feel the same about them, in more ways than one. I do not hate them, nor do I feel the same affection. It is quite possible, in my experience, to love without affection. Bonds twist in time and experience, but do not entirely disappear.

At the table, my grandmother in her Hoveround and my aunt, 110 pounds lighter, ate less than a fourteenth what they would have eaten, before. They were quiet, asking a few polite questions. Now that I am in a PhD program, they do not seem to feel they have much to say to me, though since I became an adolescent, there has been less and less to say.

I am less angry, I suppose. I'm not sure I would have noticed their silence before. Instead, I think it likely I would have been too busy trying to contain my despair at the way things turned out.

And perhaps that is age, or more likely the fact that our lives have diverged, and I have accepted to some degree, what we will not have.

It continues to need accepting.

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