Monday, November 15, 2010
The Loss of Emily's Grandma - A Critical Abyss
The ride to grandma’s house was miserable. Her father smoked cigars and coupled with the car air conditioner, the air was stale and the stench and smoke made her eyes water and burn. She tried to roll down the window but her father shouted to roll it up. She sat in silence wondering why she was in the car, and feeling like she wanted to be someone else. She closed her eyes and imagined herself to be a young girl that lived with a bachelor uncle in a beautiful home. Her name was Anna. Anna’s uncle doted on her, took her on long walks in the sunshine, and at the end of the day, read her bedtime stories. She finally fell asleep, lost in the fantasy of being Anna. She woke up to find that she was at grandma’s house. Anna was gone, and Emily stared at the house as if she saw it for the first time. What always seemed a beautiful and inviting sight now had an air of finality and sadness. She fought the feeling for she knew that grandma would be coming out on the porch to greet them. Her mother had told grandma on the phone that they were moving to New York, and knowing that this was the last time that Emily would see her for many years made her eyes well up with tears, and her lip quiver. She bit her lip to stop the trembling, and pulled on her golden hair to redirect her emotions from sadness to physical pain. She knew that her father would be angry if he saw her cry. Grandma finally stepped out onto the porch, her weathered face seemed older with her smile gone and Emily pulled her hair harder to stop her tears.
For Emily, her grandma gave her not only unconditional love but a sense of wellness. The constant criticism of her father and indifference of her mother made her feel inferior and flawed. Her grandma gave her the feeling of acceptance and freedom to be herself. The positive role of her grandma was amplified in her young mind, and significant to her mental development. The loss of her grandma left a critical abyss, which Emily would need to fill in order to survive an intolerable childhood.
To my readers, how will she fill this void, or will she? Are the memories of her grandma, and the wellness that she felt in her presence enough to sustain her?