Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just Writing about Family

As you all know by now, I've lost both my grandmothers this past year. My father's mother died in the spring and my mother's mother in the fall after many years struggling with Alzheimer's. Their passing and our move to Outer Mongolia (otherwise known as Central Florida) has changed my sense of self, ever so subtly and slowly and yet profoundly.

I was talking to my mother shortly after Grandmom passed away and she has been feeling this same shift. It's like now my mother is the grand matriarch and I am... my mother, I guess? I've "moved up" in some sort of not-easily-definable way and am now no longer one of the kids. My kids are The Kids, and my siblings and I are The Adults and my parents are The Grandparents. My cousins, aunts and uncles are all sort of splintering off to their own extended-family units. My aunts and uncles are now someone elses' grandparents, not just aunts and uncles. All this transition is, of course inevitable and expected. The inexorable marching onward of time and all that.

The thing that's hard for me about all this is this sense of losing my grip... losing that settled-in, rooted feeling that has been such a part of me for so long. I'm getting slowly pushed up to the top. I'm moving up, level by level, till I'm the one who's the apex of my own family tree-- J and me. At the top. No longer a safe, settled, protected, cushioned part of the middle. No longer surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Now everyone is looking up at us to provide them with a sense of identity, a Heritage.

I think it must be a little lonely at the top. I'm not in any hurry to get there.

join us for free-writing over at the EO!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Hey, where does that leave ME?!?!?! ugh. so lost. But, it will be even stranger when Dad goes. Talk about moving up. Also, it leaves keeping the family "together" up to us, too. I hate the concept of us all drifting apart - though I know it's been happening slowly since your generation has started getting married - WHY'd you have to grow up?!?!?!:(