My Grandparents

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So, all my life, up until recently, I’d always had three grandparents instead of two. You see, around the time when I was born, my grandma and grandpa invited a third member into their marriage. They promised each other that they would love each other that equally. But suprise suprise, that didn’t happen. This third person, named Joan, began to have a relationship with my grandpa. The three of them lived like this for years, and we were kept out of it.

You’d think this would be the end of the awkwardness, but no. My grandma, for some reason unknown, loved to create drama. This ruined any and all relationship I could have with my grandparents. My grandma had told my parents that Joan didn’t want anything to do with us, and she told Joan that we hated her. So I could never have an even remotely close relationship with Joan. It was awkward anyway, but with my grandma around to stir up trouble, it was hard to get close to anyone. Over the years I was kept out of the resulting drama that occurred for obvious reasons, as I was very young at that point.

At this point, it’s pretty bad with all of them living together, having scream-fights constantly (that I’ve never heard personally) and hating their messed up lives. But when my grandma decides to leave, without so much as a goodbye, to go see if a facebook relationship will “blossom into love” while SHE’S STILL MARRIED, everything crumbles. This is when I start to overhear conversations more often, and by the time my parents actually come out and tell me, I know most of what they’re telling me and more. So, this is part of my life right now. Pretending I don’t know so much to not cause trouble. Questions I hide away in a little cubby so as not to uproot anymore than necessary. I’m always, always listening, and sometimes I’m glad all the sound in the house, even whispers, is funneled into my room as clear as a bell.

I’m a naturally closed-off person. It takes a nice person to worm their way into my walled-up heart, but once they do they are stuck there for good. So that’s why I’m torn when I think of my grandma. Should I think of the good memories I had with her, or what she’s done to everyone? What happened? Do I actually want to know the details? In this case, ignorance is definitely bliss.

When they told me about the grandma thing, I didn’t cry. I’m still not allowed to, since my mom has enough on her hands (like my grandpa getting a bit senile and having cancer) without a weepy teenager. I’m used to holding stuff in by now, (8th grade had trained me well) so it doesn’t bother me much. I just go along, day by day, trying not to think about it.

I almost broke into tears once since they told me, though. When all the pools were closed, I went to my best friend’s grandma's house to swim in her pool. Her grandmother was incredibly kind, and although I never really talked to her, she was amazing. Nicole (my best friend)told me that she had never seen her grandmother get mad, even when she almost got hit by one of Nicole’s older cousins. When we went inside to raid the house for strawberries (Nicole’s and my collective favorite fruit) I was hit by an intense used-homey smell. I saw the large basket of candy and cookies mostly for Nicole and her cousins (and me, a complete stranger) and a freshly bought carton of strawberries just for Nicole and her friends. Those two coupled with the story Nicole told me and the fact that I was allowed to swim in her grandmother’s pool for hours made me think. What would it be like to know this woman? To have her be your grandmother and nobody else’s? What was it like to actually want to think about your grandparents? Or cry about the happiness you felt inside when you saw them, rather than the cloud of mixed up emotions they forced you to endure? When I asked myself these questions, it was very hard not to cry.





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