When I was a baby, my family was featured in the newspaper for having five generations (Note: that’s not a picture of my family above but I will keep searching for the original copy and post it soon. Also, thanks to this family for standing in).
I consider myself very lucky that I have some memories of my great-great grandmother. But now, this mother’s day, it’s just the three of us.
Today I watched my grandmother open her gifts and I knew what she would say when she read my card: “That’s a beautiful card, thank you.” She says it every time.
I watched my mom as she anticipated the look on my grandmother’s face opening her gift. I watched them hug after and I wonder what it’s like to be them. I know that at one time, when my mom was in high school, they shared a bedroom in a small apartment. It may seem like a million years ago but you have to wonder what kind of closeness that breeds, what strength of character it builds. I hope I have some of that in me.
Today my grandmother is a successful businesswoman, still working and over seventy years old. She’s loud and fun and spends a lot of time with her women’s group. She’s impossible to buy for so I’m thankful she’s happy with brunch. When I ask her what she was like in her thirties, what it was like to live in a one bedroom apartment with my mother, she can’t really remember. She says things like, “Well, I was working and I had your mother.”
It’s a little frustrating because I want to use her stories as research, but the more people I talk to the more I realize that most people like to give pretty simplistic answers about their past. It seems like they’re happy to quickly sum up the past and focus on what it taught them. Very reassuring.
My grandmother was thirty years old nearly forty years ago so I guess it is a lot to ask of her to remember more details. But my hope then is that when I’m her age I have a little more to say. I hope can say firmly that my thirties were fantastic and I accomplished all my goals. I’m working on it.
How about you? How would you summarize your thirties so far? Maybe it’s kind of like one of those “Write your own obituary” exercises, I know, but I’d love to see your ideas in the comments.
Thanks for reading and Happy Mother’s Day!