Thursday, February 28, 2008

what were they thinking?

It is an uncomplicated family. With just two sets of grandparents. No separations, abandonments, divorces leading to multiple sets, or additions. The two pairs? Different as can be. One set has stronger caregiving instincts. The other? Hard to tell. I’ve heard the words “selfish” and “difficult,” but really, who can tell.

They don’t get along with each other. Of that I am sure. I never hear sentences directed from one to the other. Think of all the possibilities: she can talk to the other grandmother, the other grandmother can talk to him and he to her, or to the other grandfather. But none of this happens.

And yet, to the amazement of all, the other grandparents, the ones with no caregiving instincts buy a cottage right next to the fence circling the home of the one set of grandparents. To taunt them? No. Too expensive a proposition.

What were they thinking?? Maybe – and no one thought this is possible, but maybe they had an itch. To be physically close, to their son, their granddaughters, even as nothing else in their nature, or perhaps in the circumstances, permitted the more intangible connection.

All four have died, some time ago, and so it's impossible to know for sure.

I was thinking of physical distance today. And of families. And of partnerships. And mostly of daughters. With whom I have multiple exquisite connections. But, because of circumstances, the physical distance is there. To taunt me.

No photos today.