grandparents

The Words I Couldn’t Say

I’ll start with an apology.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for being a terrible granddaughter.

I was so happy that you knew who I was when I called to wish you a happy birthday today. I had heard the dementia was bad and I wasn’t expecting us to be able to talk. The call was less than 2.5 minutes. You told me you love me; that you’ll always love me. Then you cried.

The last time I heard you cry like that was when you had heart surgery decades ago. If you weren’t ill, I don’t think you would have cried. My grandfather was too proud to cry.

Laughter, anger, humility. Those you could express. For men of our culture and your generation, you don’t cry.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I never call. I’m sorry I don’t write or send you pictures of your great-grandchildren. I’m afraid. Afraid that she’ll find them and take them.

I’m sorry you will probably never see me again. I’m sorry that the next time I see you it will be when we inter your body next to my grandmother: your loving wife.

I can’t go back there. When you pass, it will be the last time I go back. I can’t bring myself to be there.

I will try to call more often. I want to, but I’m scared. I’m scared my voice will make you cry again. I’m scared she’ll be the one to answer your phone one day. I’m terrified of the day when you don’t know my voice.

I’m selfish. These are excuses. The fear is real, but I could do more.

Thank you.

Thank you for being the only positive male role model I had growing up. Thank you for taking me to karate, to choir, getting me that wedding singer job, allowing me to live with you when your daughter cast me out.

Thank you for knowing my voice. For telling me that you love me. That you’ll always love me. Those words mean more to me than you will ever realize.

I hope this illness doesn’t ravage you. I hope I was able to be a good granddaughter when I was younger. I hope I made you proud. I hope, as your mind slips away and your body fails you that the memories you have of me are positive. I hope, that when the time finally comes, that you can go in peace.

I love you, Grandpa.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 2 comments

What Makes You Happy?

I recently received a care package from my in-laws *cough*theyarewaybetterthanyours*cough*.

It is clear that they really know who I am after being married to their son for seven years. In the care package was candy for my husband (he’s got a mega sweet tooth) and for me there were two bags of chips (YEEEES!) and a container of Decafe Tetley tea.

Have I mentioned I love tea?

I have tea every day. EVERY. DAY. I feel sometimes if I didn’t have it I would melt into a puddle and disappear! Maybe that’s the sign of an addiction problem but I don’t think it’s any worse than what most people feel about coffee.

Tea holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it a warm drink that I can enjoy it reminds me of family gatherings and certain family members.

My background is Anglo-Indian. My maternal grandparents were born and raised in India and they attended British boarding school. They only speak English. They are all shades of brown. My grandmother and I would say that we are not white, we’re beige! It actually offends me when someone calls me white. While I am very pale in comparison to some of my relatives (my father is such a white Canadian he glows in the dark hahahaha) I don’t consider myself to be only white.

Growing up in this culture of curry and tea has cemented certain feelings and expectations within me. We would spend any conceivable holiday at my grandparents. There was always tea. As a grandchild it was part of my job to ensure everyone had a cup of tea and to make it how they liked it. This got pretty complicated during big festivities like Christmas and Easter when extended family and friends of my grandparents would come for a visit.

When I lived with my grandparents I was in my late teens and would drink tea more often. I had been drinking regular orange pekoe tea for a long time, but living with them meant I had it multiple times a day. Even now I scour the grocery store to find the brand that they used.

It’s a comfort for me, then, to drink tea. I drink it when I’m stressed; I drink it when I need a pick-me-up in the morning.

When my grandmother passed away I was able to get one of the cup and saucer sets I always used when I was at their house. It sits on a shelf right now because I don’t want to break it. I’m considering putting a small plant in it once I redo my office. Otherwise it’s just collecting dust.

This is what makes me happy. What makes you happy?

Englishcupoftea

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 1 comment

Things I Tell My Kids

Every parent has weird or funny things they tell their kids.

My eldest is 5.5 years old and I want to encourage his imagination and wonder. I routinely tell him things happen by magic or that the house talks. He’s on to me already but his imagination comes out while he plays. I try not to go too crazy because I don’t want him to be at a disadvantage at school. He went through a phase when Vader, Kirby, Mario and Luigi were invisible friends at our house. It was pretty fun. He knows that Mum doesn’t like ‘Jerks’ so when he gets into a ‘jerk’ attitude we talk about how that attitude is not good. He also went through a phase where he didn’t want to eat lunch. No matter what we did he didn’t want to eat. I finally got him to eat food by telling him he would die if he didn’t. Before you all freak out I know that’s extreme but desperate times called for desperate measures. It’s not a lie, but it would take time. We’ve talked about the realities of death and he is fortunate enough to not have lost a family member, friend or pet to death at this time.

As crazy as my kid is we enjoy our dance party time and making cookies. He really likes oatmeal cookies so I usually get his help for those. He really likes when you give him a job. I really want to get him a fish for his next birthday and help teach him some responsibility.

In the spirit of the holidays we put up our tree up last night! My eldest helped decorate and actually took direction well. I was really happy. I also made him hot chocolate for the first time and he really enjoyed it.

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The littlest one so far has steered clear of the tree, but it’s only a matter of time. Two boys in the house really makes way for madness.

My father wants to call this weekend so it will be nice to have a chat with him. It’s been a while and I could use family support.  If we continue talking I’ll have to think of what the kids will call him. They already have a Grampy and Nana so I don’t want to duplicate. My dad will probably want to be called Poppa since that’s an East-Coast thing. His wife, Gwen, can’t be Nana though because the kids have one already. I’m sure we’ll think of something. We need to talk first and see how it goes.

In the meantime, I need to eat some breakfast and drink my tea before it gets cold. Enjoy your Sunday!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments