Saturday, August 2, 2008

the long journey home

just about a year ago, i started this blog, mostly out of a need to express my thoughts and feelings regarding the dissolution of my family's home at the jersey shore, and my grandmother's subsequent removal to an assisted living facility here in connecticut.

it seems ironic to me, that as the sun sets on lughnasa, and my bond to my irish grandmother feels reinforced, my italian grandmother is admitted to the hospital. one can only hope they find something wrong with her, something against which she can be medicated into a palliative haze. she's been telling us how sick she is for as long as i can remember. now, finally, we can only hope she's right.

what my grandmother has taught me is that a miserable life of any length is not worth living, and a miserable long life is a particular kind of hell. she's terrified of dying, terrified of what comes after, and yet, she was equally terrified to live. she spent her life truly trapped. her greatest gift to me has been to show me the effects of binding one's Self too tightly to any instituition created by minds of men.

some years ago i came to the conclusion that there are some souls, like mother theresa, who come into the world to show us their Light. and then there's others, who come to show us their Shadow, so that the people around them have a chance to polish up their own Lights. it is relatively easy, i would think, to be one of the Light-souls. people around you love you. but to be a Shadow-soul must be a very difficult thing. i think of my grandmother and my exhusband as my own particular Shadow-souls, because they are the ones who taught me the most painful lessons of my life. if mister ex taught me how not to love, my grandmother taught me how not to live.

whatever the test results show - and they may show nothing - i feel at last a kind of detached yet deep compassion for my grandmother in her last days. like my little dog sam, whose past is beyond her ken to communicate, my grandmother, too, remains beyond my ability to alleviate her suffering in any meaningful way. what remains for me to do is to simply be kind to her in the way i would want people to be kind to me in a similar position.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.

3 comments:

A Shade Of Scorpio said...

Sorry to hear about your sick grandmother. We have in common the Italian Grandmother (mine is in a box in my house - we call her Grandma Dust) and the Irish side too. Aren't we a fun lot when we're angry?

Had to say - very poignant how you wrote if your ex husband showed you how not to love, your grandmother showed you how not to live. Excellent way of putting that.

Walk in the Woods said...

Light and shadow. Shadow and light. How sweetly they dance together - to every song we make manifest in this life.

I love ya Annie.

:)

P.A. GIbbons said...

So eloquently written.

Once I walked in the shadows, but now I dance in the light.

patti