Whenever I talk about my mother and one of my grandmothers I usually have positive things to say; my mother raised me and I feel she did a good job, and my dad’s mother was a very kind woman from when I knew her and hearing stories of her after she passed influenced my stance on feminism and women’s rights.
There is my other grandmother though, I know three different versions of her; the woman who sometimes took care of me growing up, the woman who isn’t so nice, and the woman who took a big risk for her time period and threw out her no good husband.
I never knew either of my grandpas, one from what I can gather was a good man. The other was a worthless son of a bitch who’s probably in hell. The only time I saw the later was in his coffin at his funeral so many miles away from home in Chicago. I never knew why he left as a child since these issues are never discussed among kids. The only reason we knew when to go to his funeral were because his daughters wanted to make sure my mom didn’t get anything in his will (two of them are bitches, one of them is pretty cool and I regret that we had a falling out with her too).
Back to my other grandma, it’s has been hard to come to terms with how I feel about her from going to someone I genuinely loved, to someone I loathed because she treated everyone like shit and would complain like no tomorrow unless we were watching telenovelas, to someone I felt sorry for because we had no idea who made her this way. I don’t know her life, I never will, she’s been on her death bed for twelve years so I don’t think I’ll feel too sad when she passes away.
But today she gets respect from me for making a decision that even today is still looked down upon by some people. She’s not the strong feminist figure of my dad’s mother who managed to also be a devout catholic, and she’s not my mother who raised me and put up with me. So thank you grandma Francis.