Saturday, June 22, 2013

Something that Just Dawned On Me about My Grandparents

Here's a point--some points--about my grandparents that I never thought of before.  One, my grandmother Augusta was left a widow with seven children.  She brought them all to honorable adulthood and, what may be even more astonishing, she kept the family together.  I tell that story often, with admiration and awe.

Two,I almost never talk about my other grandparents, Fernando and Sadie (I had grandparents named named Fernando and Sadie, how cool is that).  There's nothing shameful or scandalous here.  It's just that there isn't a lot to say.  So far as I can tell, they had an untroubled marriage.  They raised four lovely kids, and they seem to have enjoyed each other's company.  Fernando was a high-skill leather worker down at the shoe factory.  Maybe the most interesting thing I know about him is that he wore a white shirt to work, and changed the collar every day, including Saturday.  They even had a cottage by the lake-a piece they had come into by the luck of geography: they both grew up in central New Hampshire, back when nobody much cared about the place.

And that is about it.  And here's the thing: we want our loved ones to have lives without plot.   Plot means misfortune, perplexity, challenge.  But most of our lives have plot.  August's had all the plot she could handle.  But Fernando and Sadie seem to have lives without plot.  To which I say, lucky them.

Fn.:  I never knew any of these people.  They all died just shortly before or after I was born.

Fn.: How "Fernando?"  Go  here.  For more on 'Augusta and her children, go  here and here.


Anonymous said...

Thusly, "May you live in interesting times." - A Chinese quote not attributable to the Chinese

Ebenezer Scrooge said...

It's not plot; it's personality.

Every family has some people (and dogs) who endure posthumously. My mother's psycho Lhasa Apso is still frequently mentioned in family conclaves. So is my mother: my silent father is not. He was a camp survivor, but his necessary tenacity was of a mild nature. My wife's aunt had an uneventful life, but carried obstreperousness to a high art form. She is legend. And so forth.