Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I was raised in what at the time was considered a very unconventional household. It might still be, depends on your area of the country.

My parents divorced when I was around 5. Maybe 6 when it was actually finalized. Before I went and got myself all divorced my mother was the only one in her family to have actually gone through a divorce. I came in second. Not a great track record on this side of the family tree.

When I was about 9 my mother met Nana*. They worked for the same place and had a lot in common. They became roommates and eventually life long friends. There was a brief period of time where Nana moved out when I was 14 because I sucked but the day I moved out at 18, she was RIGHT back in. They never lived apart after that.

I want to stop here because I know my mothers family reads this but also I have friends that occasionally stop by this blog and so might be thinking weird things.

My mother and Nana were soul mates. It's as simple as that. They were kindred spirits, best friends and true partners. They were not lesbians. But even if they were I wouldn't have cared. (For the record they did argue during Trivial Pursuits like an old married couple but I think that happens when you live with someone that long.)

Nana took care of my mother when she had cancer. When Nana had cancer my mother took care of her. Albeit not to the same extent since Nana survived her Breast Cancer and my mother did not survive Lung Cancer. I don't think my mother could have had better care during her last few months than she did with Nana by her side. She took time from work, helped my mom shower and was known to help her wipe her butt from time to time. To call her my moms roommate would honestly be a slap in the face. At least to me.

Curious thing though, Nana and I don't get along very well. We have very different opinions about child rearing and she sees the world through a Grandmother's eyes while I see them through a Mother's. Honestly, being a Grandmother without ever having been a Mother might make her see it very differently or she might always have had those opinions. I don't know. I don't care.

A few years ago, shortly after my mothers death Nana started communicating almost solely with my now ex-husband. Except he wasn't the ex at the time. It was better that way honestly since she didn't listen to me, seeing me still as a crappy teenager I suspect and less like an actual mother. But she gave him the respect of a father because he had that ability with her.

So since this divorce she and I haven't really spoken either although she is very, very close to my children. She is their Grandmother. She's a beneficiary on my life insurance on their behalf. We may not always like each other but at least in my corner I still love her. Begrudgingly sometimes, but I do.

Recently there was an issue in my house involving a cell phone and my ex-husbands displeasure in the teenager having one. I called Nana to a)vent and b) explain that our best laid plans about Kylie having it while at her dads house might be crap and c) ask if she still wanted to come to visit in September.

It was honestly a little refreshing to get to vent for a second. She knows Brian. She's known him since before we were married. She's known him since he was a 13 year old punk eating tacos at my house one Saturday afternoon. She is only person I know who knows him. And I know she likes him. Better than she likes me. So it was refreshing but I was prepared for her to roll her eyes and me and tell me he was right or some such thing.

Instead without missing a beat she kinda laid into him. Not in a mean, loud way. In a way that says "I know this guy. And that's crap. And even though I don't really like you, I understand you."

What she said was something to the affect of "He's always been a cheap bastard Lacy. At least you know you're doing the right thing."

I wanted to cry with relief.

Family. You may not always like each other. But for better or for worse you're always there for each other.

*Nana is what my kids call her. This is not her real name.
** Nana is also a bastardization of Ana which is an Aleut word for Grandma. Wrap your heads around the idea that my kid was screwing up the Aleut language before she was 2.
***And no, Nana is not Aleut. She's Hispanic. And I'm with a Hispanic. Weird, right?

Funny story about Kylie and Nana. If you know my family you know Kylie is blond. When she was little she was much blonder. One time I asked her who she thought she looked most like, me or Grandma. She responded Nana. She was about 2. Who, have I mentioned is Hispanic? And not blond.


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