Mean Kitty you are a sweet thing! Hmmm I briefly checked out your blog, and I like what you have to say too, may I be as “feisty” as you are when I reach your 61 years of living, just too luscious.
I will address your question on the Grandparents, they did die when I was young before baby sis was born, Grandmother passed away when I was 7, and Grandfather just two years later. I never really knew them, we barely visited them, I really can only remember going to their house twice, and my memory of it was just as cold and friendless as my parents’ house, and Grandmother being like my mother only more so.
I do remember both Grandmother and Grandfather coming over to Father’s house one time and that was when Grandmother took care of me, she slept on a small camp bed in my bedroom, the same bedroom that I later shared with baby sis. I remember her being there for almost a week, now that I think on it I think I had chickenpox, and I was very miserable. But her holding me was comforting, it may have been the only time where she was her true self.
Grandmother never came over to the house again after that, the only thing I remember Father mentioning her is after she had died.
Father was gone from the house for a couple of days, Mother and I enjoyed the freedom, but when he came home he just said “Mother is dead” just cold and matter of fact, at first I felt sorry for him, but then I saw he wasn’t sad but angry, then he told me to go to my room.
I crept up the stairs but lingered on the stair landing to over hear Father being furious at Mother at what Grandmother had done, all I heard was the words “trust” “money” and my name and then he referred to Grandmother, his own mother, with awful words, the more he raised his voice, the more Mother cried, I even heard a slap and her cry out. I became afraid and quickly went to my room and sat by the window holding my little kitty doll.
Dinner that evening was very quiet, Mother’s eyes were red and there was a deep red mark on her cheek, Father never said a word all evening.
I only saw Grandfather twice after that, at Grandmothers funeral that occurred the next day at this funeral home, all musty and decrepit, and one more time at Father’s house, I remember Father calling me to come in from the kitchen and having me stand in the living room and Grandfather looking at me for a long time, then reading something out of his bible about being a woman and a sinful temptation to good honest men and I was going to hell for being a woman.
I never looked down at the floor, but at him, by this time Mother had already done her little act of rebellion and I was already wondering about the church that Father insisted we go to.
Grandfather just seemed like some sort of horrible ogre and I was wishing for a huntsman like Little Red Riding Hood had to take this awful person away.
After he said that to me, he said to Father something about “beating me would not drive the devil out of me” and that they had to obey the law and be sure to send me to school, it would be sinful if anything they did against me would send them to jail, that the only thing was to keep me away from temptation.
I thank a higher presence for school, homework and libraries. But for weeks when I combed my hair before braiding it, I would look into the mirror to see where was that so-called “devil”, I couldn’t find it.
A year after that Father was gone again for a few days, and again Mother and I enjoyed our freedom, she even took me to a movie theatre that showed old black and white films and that is when I first saw her, Ava Gardner in "One Touch of Venus". When we left the theatre I said to Mother that I wanted to be as beautiful as her, it was one of the few times I saw Mother smile as she said "Maybe you will when you are grown".
When Father came home he told us that his "beloved daddy" was dead and this time there were tears in his eyes, I tried to feel sorry for him but I couldn’t, Ooohhh sweet things I just couldn’t, in my heart I was glad that the ogre was dead. But I knew enough to look sad.
But what made me very angry was that ogre had a very elaborate funeral, flowers, music and a coffin that was shiny black with silver handles at a very fancy funeral home, and then they buried his body at this cemetery. And Father with tears in his eyes. It was nothing like Grandmothers’, she didn’t have any of that, and her coffin was cheap and plain and we didn’t go to a cemetery to bury her.
I found out later from Mother that Grandfather had Grandmother’s body cremated and then he bought a single size grave and had a fancy tombstone put on it with his name on top in large letters and his date of birth and blank for his date of death, that was to be added later, and a very fancy inscription about being faithful to god or something, and then much lower down in small letters Grandmother’s name nee something date of birth and death and in plain small letters the words “her deeds shall judge her” the box with her cremains were placed at the foot inside Grandfather’s coffin, it was his revenge. How she was shamefully treated in death, that memory still remains with me.
So no I never really knew them, just those three or 4 times did I ever see them, Father never talked about them, so I had little to go on, except what I learned much later after I left Father’s house permanently after I graduated from college. It was then that Mother slipped to me a piece a paper with the name and phone number of a lawyer and whispered to me to go see him.
At the lawyers office is when I discovered Grandmother’s revenge, it seems that she had a very sizable estate totally separated from Grandfather’s holdings, and when Grandfather had gone on a so-called ‘spiritual retreat’ Grandmother made use of the time she was free from his hold to have a trust created to transfer her estate into a trust into my name, with the provision that if I was still a member of Father’s and Grandfathers' church or married to someone of that church then the trust was to be turned over to several charities for women.
This trust was very well legally ‘locked up’, originally Grandfather thought that when Grandmother died (she hadn’t been in good health) that he would get her estate and use it to further his church’s work, it seems that he was a sort of “traveling pastor” for it. It was no wonder that both Father and Grandfather were furious, Grandmother had the last laugh at them. And I realized that all of their attempts to humilate her in death was for nothing.
No, sweet things I really didn’t learn a lot about both sides of my family until after I went to college and graduated.
And on that little note I say this to you my sweet luscious lady things, make sure that you keep back something for yourself if you want to be totally free and never surrender your will to anyone. It takes very special people to make a loving partnership, it can happen, but it does take surrender on both sides, not just one.
And did I grow up to be as beautiful as the wonderful Barefoot Contessa? Close, very close.
Now I must go, I have errands to run, people to see, and places to go, my car is waiting impatiently for me. Growl.
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