Let me explain.
My parents and my brother and I had a small lovely little house on Henry Road, at the time the road was dirt. Two minutes walk up the little dirt road lived my grandparents (Marybelle and Fred) and my Nana, they were my Dad’s folks and Granny.
About a twenty minute drive away lived my other grandparents, my Mom’s Mom (Anne) and her husband Ken, who was my Mom’s step dad…
Are you keeping up?
We lived there until I was in grade 4, we then moved to a bigger house about 20 minutes away from there to a place called Langdale.
My parents lived in that house until my Grandad passed away about 23 years ago. They then sold their house and built a house on the property between my Grandparents house and the house we used to live in…that is where they are now.
Ok, now that we sort of have that straight, lets go back to the olden days…
I was 6, I remember playing out in the yard, we were underneath the picnic table…when you are a wee kid, it makes an awesome fort…
Now I am assuming being typical kids on a summers day, we had stuff strewn about everywhere, not a surprising thing with a 6 year old and a 4 year old right?
My Grandma Anne and Ken came for a visit, and of course we dropped what we were doing and went running for hugs…
Pretty normal stuff…
I don’t remember the in between bits, I assume they stayed for a visit, smoked in our non smoker house and probably had a drink or five and then as they were getting ready to leave, my Grandma walked past my favorite doll laying in the grass, picked her up and said to me…
I remember asking her to please leave her, I had just left her there because we were playing. She was having none of it…off she went with my doll.
So let me just interject here, that I had an amazing childhood, my family was amazing and we loved each other to the ends of the earth.
Sadly they have all passed away, except for my parents, my Mom has three brothers that are all fine and well, only one of which she ever sees. Her family was fairly broken up after the divorce.
My Dad’s sister whom I adored, died very young from cancer when my oldest son was just a tiny infant.
My Grandma Anne spent a lot of her life making her husband Ken miserable. I mean she had her moments where she was at least tolerable to the rest of the world, but she nagged poor Ken to death on his deathbed, she died fairly shortly after he did. Probably from lack of anyone to torment, I am sure she is nagging him in hell.
I am not saying that I didn’t love her, but as an adult I realized just how miserable some people can be in life.
I used to clean their house for them for a couple of years after I got divorced.
I couldn’t believe when I went into her bedroom and lo and behold, there was my doll. Seriously.
I went home to my Mom and told her that she still had it after all of these years…I couldn’t believe she had kept it.
Grandma Anne helped me through a tough time in those last years, she bought my wedding rings from me for more than I would have ever gotten anywhere else, and she wore them and enjoyed them too…it really helped me out when things were near poverty level for me, (she willed them back to me when she died) I was so grateful for my family’s help during that time in my life. She was wonderful with my kids, more so than I remember her being with us. Mind you take away too much alcohol and add 20 years. Stuff changes.
She died years ago now, I never did ask her why she kept my doll.
My Mom asked me if there was anything I wanted after she died…
I said yep…I want my doll back.
So maybe she did me a favor, cause now I have a doll from my childhood I never would have had otherwise.
Even though as a child it broke my heart when she drove out of my driveway with my favorite baby in her car…
Sometimes you have to let go of the childhood memories and try and remember the good stuff. I often wonder why I held onto the anger I had over her taking that doll from me, but I did for years, into adulthood…
Such a wasted emotion, and maybe, just maybe if I had asked her why she had taken it, she would have had a reason, something that wouldn’t have occurred to me as a sad little 6 year old girl.
Or maybe not.
But maybe I could have told her how it made me feel, how sad I was, how long I had held onto being mad about her taking it from me…
Honesty nearly always changes everything doesn’t it??
Families are funny that way. We never really appreciate the good bits as much as we should because the bad can get in the way. I have been blessed to have the family I have, all of them, I am thankful for all the love, the laughter the joy and the tears. For the learning, the teaching, good and bad.
No one ever has a perfect family…you take the good with the bad and make the most of what you get. The awesome thing with my family is that we have always, no matter what, been able to laugh our way through pretty much anything.
I am thankful for that every single day of my life.
Who says dysfunctional isn’t a good thing?