THE STAPLER; PART TWO
(this writing makes more sense when THE STAPLER; PART ONE is read first)
I would really like to take my grandmother’s stapler and slam it over my mother’s head. No not really but the fact that she is not speaking to me and asking me to never contact her again warrants the fantasy. I have had dreams about interactions with her where I am screaming at the top of my lungs at her, “you are such a fucking bitch, I fucking hate you.” This is odd and unsettling to me actually because I really don’t feel this way. Maybe there is more truth in the feeling of needing the release to occur and the dream is the only rational place it can happen. Oddly, I am not screaming angry about the release. When a mother consciously (or unconsciously depending on the quantity of wine in the box prior to the push of the send button) releases a child, though, I don’t think there is ever a finality. I will live with this odd no relationship relationship until one of us dies and even then I am sure it will still linger.
It is interesting to me that the stapler that has become an integral part of my life from my grandmother who I adored and adored me has turned into a weapon in this writing to injure Ann, aka my mother. I really thought I had moved past her and allowed her absence to not be such a loud force in my energy field, but when a thought like this pops into my writing, I guess it is still working itself out of me.
I miss my grandmothers. The stapler that grounds me with its vintage well made structure is their metaphor in my life. I am often at a loss without their female power. I have them certainly as part of the fabric of my cape, but their physical strength was a real supplement for Ann’s emotional absence and that was when Ann still had a physical place in my life.
Kitsie and Isabelle, my other grandmother, my father’s mother, were both college graduates, they both grew up well cared for financially and they both knew the importance of cultural exposure to the education, arts, music and travel. They both exposed me to their world with intense maternal love without all of the strings attached that my own mother put on love and connection.
I miss them more every day and I love how a silly stapler transported me back into their lives as I remember their sounds, their smells and most importantly their never ending unconditional love. I don’t think I realized how much of an impact their absence has had in my world this past year. I mean I obviously know that grandmothers can’t be around forever. I think the loss of them, along with my aunt, my brother, and my father leaving me to deal with Ann or rather the now ‘not dealing’ with her is a bright bold vacancy sign flashing at a motel along a highway somewhere out west. What do you do when your own mother gives you the permission to never contact her again, when you know it is the ultimate sacrifice and a strange gift because your relationship was so fractured it can not be repaired. There is simply so much sadness and pain that it doesn’t even seem worthy of the work it would take.
I see a pretty vase, not super beautiful, but pretty enough and comfortable enough as it traveled with me in my years. I picture a vase that has been in my life for a long time, but not really significant in my life decisions anymore, yet important enough to keep in my life. I see it falling off a pedestal and shattering into a million pieces. As it lay there on the ground, even though it has been with me for my entire life, I see clearly that I would never be able to salvage it. So instead, I let the thousands of pieces lie there for a time. Like inexpensive china, the shards are everywhere. The thought of sweeping every single piece into a dustpan is just a little too much for me right now. I manage to walk away from the mess and let it lie knowing when I am ready, I will pull out the broom, maybe even the vacuum and do a thorough cleaning so not a single fragment stays behind to pierce my bare foot.
Maybe the cleaning of my basement is the start.
Isabelle many years ago and me with my very young mother I think she was 20.
I didn’t have a recent photo of Kitsie.