Monday, January 31, 2011

Tarnish on a Bright Penny

My oldest got baptized this weekend. It was amazing. It was lovely. It was exciting. It was neat. It was long and exhausting. :)

We had such a great weekend, and my daughter just blows me away sometimes. Its good to see your kids in a different light sometimes, and realize how good they are and how amazing they are and how lucky you are to have them as part of your family. It was a good day like that. She looked so beautiful in her white dress. (I would add a picture here except I was a horrible mom and didn't take one. I will though. I will dress her back up and take a bunch of beautiful pictures of her and totally redeem myself!)

The sad thing though is that when I think about yesterday the one thing that sticks out to me is this little run-in I had with my grandpa. My grandpa is getting old, he is having a lot of health problems and over the last ten years his personality has just taken worse and worse turns, along with his health. Lately he's been falling down a lot and we're all worried about how much time he has left.

So why do I want to avoid him?

It makes me feel awful because I love my grandpa very much. I always felt like I tried really hard to take what he said and forget it and to still try to see who he really is and I always tried to do nice things for him and that he got that. But this last year since we've been home I can hardly stand it. A few years ago, he would say horrible or embarrassing things, and it would be okay because I knew he was just trying to be funny even if it wasn't. It was more of an innocent thing, I knew he wasn't trying to be mean, he was trying to make a joke. But the last year? He's trying to take me aside and tell me what he doesn't like about me.

So back to the baptism. After everything is done and everyone is standing up and hugging and I'm thanking people for coming and its such a nice feeling, my little grandpa hobbles over and I hug him and say I'm so happy he could come and what does he say to me? He tells me that he wishes I would go home and take off the silly nylons I'm wearing and burn them because I look ridiculous. I'm shocked. I'm trying to make the best of the situation and still let him know that it hurts my feelings, so I ask him why is he saying that right now when we've had such a special evening, its not the right time to be saying that. He tells me he wasn't trying to hurt my feelings but I look so ridiculous. I try and make a joke and say "Well grandpa, how about we make a deal? You worry about whats on your feet and I'll worry about whats on mine?" And he says "Well, I'm just wearing normal socks."

I just had to turn and walk away. Except after that whole evening where I barely teared up, I started bawling. I think I scared a couple people even. But it just hurt me so much that he would say that and besides making me feel picked on, he ruined that whole moment for me. And although I shouldn't let it and I should know better, that he's old and sick and his mind isn't the same as it used to be, that I shouldn't hold it against him, it still hurt me. And its heartbreaking. On so many levels, heartbreaking that I let it bother me, heartbreaking that he's sick, heartbreaking that our relationship has changed so much. Its just sad.

And I'm sad because it STILL bothers me today. It still stings that he said that. Maybe I sound vain; like its just a pair of nylons, who cares? But its just not the grandpa I know, and it hurts. It builds on other things he's said and I don't know how to deal with it. Talking to him doesn't work, he just isn't all there, so I guess I have to suck it up and keep that in mind. I just had a little thought...maybe I want to avoid him because I don't want my good memories of him tainted by these bad ones, I don't want these memories at all. When he does pass, I want to think of him in a good way, I don't want to think of these past few years that are sad and mean and sometimes awful. I also don't want to think the last few years of my grandpa's life, I spent trying to stay away from him. Its hard.

But really guys, before that situation, it was so neat to watch my baby get baptized and see her so excited and responsible and ready to grow up. Make her stop growing up please!


  1. Firstly - congratulations to your daughter on her baptism! It is such a special time. We also went to a baptism this weekend for one of my best friend's daughter.

    Secondly - I'm so sorry about your grandpa. I've been in your shoes and it DOES hurt. It always helps me to write it down like you did here. It's almost like you give it away. And no, I don't think it sounds vain. You are right - it is just a pair of nylons and it ISN'T a big deal! (I assume you are talking about the really cute ones that are in style right now with the cute designs on them.)

    It is so hard when those we love get older and their "filter" comes off. It hurts. I hope today is better. And just so you know what I think... he was totally and completely out of line. I'm sure he won't recognize that in this life, but maybe when you see him again in the next one he will recognize that he hurt your feelings and maybe he will apologize then. :) *hugs*!

  2. Happy to hear it was a lovely service, the tone of your post leads me to think that your daughter is pretty amazing! Takes after her momma, for sure!

    And... I totally get the thing with your g-pa. It was like that with my mom. The last 6 months of her life was hellacious, she wasn't all there either and was so mean. I mean, this is my MOM who everyone (including me) adored and worshipped the ground she walked on! Then for her mind to warp as it did, so sad. You know, as time goes by, there will be a time when those hurtful moments will be softened around the edges and I would venture to say - you'll be able to just laugh & shake your head when you reflect on how he focused on your pretty nylons.

  3. I bet they are the coolest nylons ever. They are probably the queen of nylons and he just doesn't know it because he's old.

    My question is, does he do this to other people or just you?

  4. I'm with Abe- those are the Queen of nylons and old people are just out of touch.

  5. I'm sorry. That sucks. The him not being the grandpa grew up with. Illness and chronic changed my dad big time, too. It was sad.

  6. *Laughing hysterically.* I meant chronic PAIN, not chronic. Oh, geez.

  7. Did we live the same life? Last Saturday my Mom went off the deep end at my nephew's baptism. She interrupted the Bishop when he asked my stepmom to talk and said that she "was the Grandma!" She put up more of a scene, then in the hallway afterward she was yelling at the Bishop and I asked her to stop and said it was inappropriate what she was doing. She stormed out of the building. Are all the older people going crazy? My poor, poor sister. She was mortified.
    Sounds to me like you handled things as best you could.


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