It is easier for me to imagine you as I want you to be
Instead of how you were
Because I never knew you.
I build a vision
Of you as patient mother
The grandmother I never knew
Constructed from pieces
I cling to
Photographs and costume jewelry,
To things you may not have valued.
Because it’s all I have.
Researching to find explanations
For your choices,
Knowing that your name is rarely spoken,
And only with pain
From your children,
The only ones related who remember.
Content with the fragments
I have built an illusion of hope around your life
More comforting than the reality
I will never know.
Grief so deeply expressed, I cherish this one.
Well done. I especially like the line about costume jewelry.
Alcohol can be so devastating to a family and turn a decent person into an alien being. Not all they could have been. So sad. That’s like the vision of my mother as person I imagine she could have been had she been sane. I understand.
Yes, I love to look for the best in people. It is a lot easier to imagine what you want to see versus what is. It is easier doing family history work with those relatives that I have never met. Time softens the hurt.
Yes, and for us that lived in abusive environments, it’s how we survive and get through it. It’s funny though, but now that I’m in a nurturing environment, I find myself less creative.
My goodness, do you realize how much you look like your grandmother?
Nicely done tribute.
I never thought that I did at all. I can see it in my chin for sure. I only had one picture of Estelle until recently, when my Aunt sent me several. I think that she was a stunningly beautiful woman. I will totally take that as a compliment if you think that I look like her Janet. Thanks!
Great post. Ironically, my great grandmother is Estelle. She was a photographer who specialized in hand coloring photos with oil paints just like this photo. It was her daughter about whom a poem like this could be written.
Wow! That’s amazing.
When I said I wasn’t a huge fan of poetry, it was before I met you, Jen! You have been added to my very select list of poets I love 🙂
Thanks Debbie! I really appreciate it. I can’t wait to see you soon, now that we are home.