I have a weird family. I know, I know... Everyone's family is strange. The following is an example of my family's weirdness.
My middle name, Anna, is after my great-grandmother on my father's side. I only knew her for a very short time. She passed on when I was three. I don't really remember her, but there are pictures of us together, me laughing with a toothless grin and her tickling my chubby little body. Grandma Anna loved me very much according to the rest of the family. I was her only great grandchild. I always have felt a special kinship with her, us sharing a name and all. A few years ago, my grandmother (Grandma Anna's daughter) gave me Grandma Anna's engagement ring as a birthday present. The ring is close to 100 years old. It's a dainty little diamond on a simple, thin gold band. It fits my ring finger perfectly, which was surprising to me because my fingers aren't an average size. I wear it on special occasions, but mostly I keep it locked up tight in my jewelry box.
My grandmother on my father's side is my last living grandparent, and I am her only grandchild. One would think that makes us extremely close, that we would share a special bond. One would be dead wrong. I've never felt very close to her at all, and she's never shown me much affection. It's just her way-- she's a very stoic person. I've learned to accept that as her nature and not let it offend me... Until now. I received the following letter in the mail a couple days ago.
This letter is just wrong on so many levels. Yes, I'm sure that the ring has more meaning to my grandmother than it does to me, as it was her mother's. I don't deny that. What really gets me is that my grandmother lives all of 15 miles from me. It's not as if we're on opposite sides of the continent or anything. Also, there are these newfangled devices called telephones, which could very easily be used to communicate her desire to get the ring back. Secondly, "I will send you a check for your efforts," just doesn't sit right with me. Yes, I have limited funds at this juncture, but something about the way that is worded just smacks of being bought off. Lastly, there's no "I love you," or "Love, Grandma," to be seen. It's one thing to be stoic and guarded with your feelings, but it's another entirely to not express any sort of love toward your only grandchild.
Not to mention how damn silly wrapping the ring in tissue and mailing it off in an envelope is. Not when I can get in the car and take it to her. It's a 20 minute drive from where I am. I just don't understand it. My grandmother lives with my father (another whole matter entirely, he is), so I'm going to drive down there to see him and her and take the ring back to her. Being the only grandchild, I was told that I would get all her jewelry when she passed on. I'm beginning to think that isn't the case anymore. I don't care about it monetarily, because it probably isn't worth that much... But having her stuff when she's gone means something to me emotionally. I'm beginning to think that her jewelry box may be left to my dad's wife, which makes me really fucking mad.
Yeah, my family is screwed up. Totally. ...Sigh...