Sep 25, 2009

Love, Grandma Style

I think you must put your juvenile games away; get ready to face a boss. You can't compete with that hair of the 70's. If only to please grandma, have hair styled. Life is real. Your suit-yourself days are over.
Love Grandma xxoo
She truly does love me; or at least the part of me that is her grandson. But what an odd love. A love that focuses on what's gone wrong in her perspective. A love that has her literally rip me out of family photos - still proudly hanging in frames, with tattered ripped edges where the long-hair grandson should have been. A love that still wishes I'd become a rich businessman or pianist or something braggable at the seniors center. A love that seems to miss the point completely of who I am and want to be, of what I believe and care about and live for.

I've posted before about our profound difference in social conformity vs expression. What saddens (and amuses) me into writing today is how her rigid view of propriety blocks her view of Me. And in blocking that view, blocks the potential for a much more Real, deep and flowing love between two people who respect each other through - and even for - their differences.

I have always known and trusted her love for her grandchild - a blood love that is real and strong and important to me. I just feel sad for her that she can't let go enough to accept and love people as they are, and to trust in different paths. Sad that she can't look at this photo of me and see the sparkle in my eyes, the Joy i felt in that moment having just moved 48 wedding chairs in the pouring rain. Instead, she'll see a boy who refuses to grow up and look the part (like that well-dressed girl behind me).

So Grandma-Love it is, expressed in letters and cheques and advice. As she wrote in a similar (and similarly fruitless) plea to cut my hair and come home from Africa in 1995, "Only grandma loves you enough to tell you the truth."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rick,
    You don't know me but I know Sarah and always enjoy your blog. My son Owen (almost 5) saw this photo of you and said "beautiful man!". Thought that might amuse you!
    Thanks for your inspiring posts,