Monday, October 6

What would you do?

Okay, a preface:  When my Grandma passed away, at her funeral, we somehow came to the conclusion that the fly that was buzzing around was her, still around.
 
Do we avoid swatting flies now? 
 
No, but we apologize to Grandma as we squash her.
 
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In going through the family photos, we found papers.  There were receipts from the grocery store in the twenties, the canceled checks that my grandfather wrote to pay for the birth of my uncle, and just random stuff.
 
I read the very sweet note my Grandpa Ernie sent to my Grandma when they were courting.  Grandpa Ernie was my Grandma's second husband, but he was the only Grandpa I ever knew on that side, and I would never use the word step- in reference to him.  He was my Grandpa.
 
As I tucked the note back into it's envelope, smiling, I told my mother that a swarm of flies was about to descend, because I didn't envision Grandma thrilled to have her letter read by anyone else.
 
My mom laughed and told me that she had said much the same thing when SHE had read the note, and that her brother AND her son had been horrified that she had read Grandma's letter.  She said that my sister-in-law looked like she was dying to read it, but didn't, faced with the frowns from my brother and uncle.
 
I was honestly taken aback.  Isn't that why we keep things? 
 
My grandmother has passed, and  the only way I have to get to know her better now is through my mom's stories and the things she left behind.
 
Is it the difference between men and women?   Is there such thing as privacy for your ancestors?  Her history is my own, and I loved delving into it. 
 
I dunno, what do you think?  Did I invade her privacy?  

5 comments:

crseum said...

I don't think you invaded her privacy sweetie. (and i missed the death of your grandmother? IM SO SORRY both for your loss and for my oversight) If it makes you feel any better, when we cleaned my gram's apartment, we found a taper candle with a condom rubber banded around it. Next to a picture of George W Bush. If that wasn't disturbing enough? Gram was a democrat...

Jennfactor 10 said...

Oh, sweetie, my Grandma was gone long before I started blogging, bless your heart. I was saved any of those disturbing finds. (and yes, that is disturbing) My mom's cousin now lives in my grandma's house, and he and his wife had stuffed a bunch of things into a trash bag and asked my uncle to come and get them if he wanted them, otherwise they were tossing them. Niiiice. HIS dad was the younger boy in that photo I posted. Schmuck.
Okay, that's not fair. The critters had gotten to a lot of it. One of the things my mom thinks is lost is the journal of her Aunt Hallie, who ran with Jack London and his crowd. Can you imagine the tales she could have told? I always bitch about California having no history, but there it was--Sonoma County in the roaring twenties--pfffftt! Eaten by mice and possums. Do possums eat paper? I don't know, but they live on a ranch, so it could have been anything. sigh.

Jennfactor 10 said...

Her Great Aunt Hallie, by the way, but Mom doesn't use the great so I didn't either...

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

"we apologize when we squash her" hehehe, that made me laugh!

I don't think there is anything wrong with going through your grandmother's things, I don't think you're invading her privacy now that she's gone. I think everyone goes through the 'stuff' of their relatives when they pass.

gretty said...

I think one of the reasons we keep things like letters and stuff is so we leave a more complete picture of ourselves.