It seems like becoming a grandmother has made my MIL more conscious of her mortality.  By the third week she was musing that she’d not likely live to see little V. get married: “when she turns 20, I’ll be 88…” – much less live to see her great-grandchildren.  But really, how many of us have had the opportunity to meet our great-grandparents?  I met one great-grandmother, Rosa, a Quechua woman who wore her hair in two long braids, along with the traditional Andean skirt.  But I barely remember the meeting; it could even be that what I actually remember is the photograph of her.  I must have been 3 or 4 years old.  And how many of my grandparents made it to my wedding?  Zero.  How many of T’s?  One. 

The thing is, MIL’s older sister, who is still active and mentally acute, has any number of great-grandchildren.  I think that for all these years it has really rankled MIL to have to ooh and ah over her sister’s multiplying descendants.  Now it’s her turn, and she wants it all…

A couple times she asked in quick succession, how old was I when T and I got married?  And how long have we been married?  And how old am I now?  In my hypersensitivity, I interpret this line of questions to be about “why did you wait so long to have kids?”  (We are in the closet about our struggles to conceive).  T, on the other hand, takes it as her wondering whether there might be more where this one came from. 

It’s made me think a lot about what it means to be a grandparent. 

My ILs are away for two weeks and DAMN I miss the help.  I really really should not complain about them so much.  This here blog, though, is kind of the one spacewhere I do.


3 Responses to “Mortality”

  1. rachel Says:

    I am a bit unusual in that regard. My grandparents were young when the married and had my dad. My parents were young when they had me. All my grandparents are still living and I can vividly remember all my great-grandparents except one great-grandfather. We are trying to get to TX so that LG can meet his great-great grandmother. She is 95 and her health is rapidly going downhill.

    With in-laws doesn’t always seem like we always take things as having an alternative meaning? I always do and am trying hard not to but it is hard.

  2. tara Says:

    my parents eloped when they were in high school and I still only got to meet one of my great grandparents- he was around for a while and i remember his presence although i couldn’t tell you what he looked like. but yea, A’s parents are on the pushy side about kids and when we had wsk- A finally told them about the miscarriage, etc. they have been a bit less pushy (about kids) since then.

  3. docgrumbles Says:

    With D being 44 and one of his parents and all of our grandparents already deceased, we have come to accept that any time with any relatives will be cherished.

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