Last night I tried to be a good daughter and called my mother for a late night chat. We talked about the weather, books and our lack of emotional energy. She mentioned haing talked with her mother, Grandma. Grandma hasn't been doing so well in the mentals for the past few years. She is very isolated by physical problems, hearing loss and a marriage to an asshole. Recently she has been telling everyone how lonely she is; she is confused, crazy and sad.
My mother tries to be a good daughter. She calls her mother even though it is unpleasant. She sends her children's books to read because Grandma's reading level has deteriorated to second grade or so. My mom sent Grandma a copy of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (not this, perv). Grandma told my mom that she was having a hard time getting into the book. It is too difficult to read. She asked why she would want to read this story about a girl nobody liked.
My mom said, "I read it a hundred years ago, but I don't remember it being about that."
I said,"Yeah... I-- "
I read The Secret Garden at some point when I was a girl. I was a little too old for it, so the emotional trials of the main characters kind of dropped by the wayside. The one thing that stays with me is that I love the idea of finding a secret place, a place alive with plants and animals and light, in the ruins of an old castle or mansion or warehouse. I still want that. A place that allows movement and quiet and change (made by me) fills me with desire. Just imagining it is pleasurable.
I guess Grandma is doing worse than we thought. In truth, I don't think about it very often. My world, and heart, shrank when my brother died, and there is not much room left for people who are only valued because they are going to die soon. There's nothing I can do about it. All my energy goes towards looking for my garden and doing what I love along the way.
"Mom," I said, "Your mom's a weirdo. There is nothing you can do about it.-- Read anything good recently?"