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I woke up today with my grandmother on my mind. Let me start off by saying I am not remotely close to her. She’s my only living grandparent and yet, nothing. Memories I do have of her are all negative and I have few memories to go off of.

The woman I remember her to be was a strict, stern, uncaring woman. She would cook what she thought we should eat and if we didn’t like it, then oh well. We had to stay there and be yelled at. Thankfully, my mother never allowed her to get away with being a tyrant to her own grandchildren. Mind you, I was probably seven or younger when that happened.

I grew up with no contact after that. She didn’t call or write and neither did we, unless our dad handed us a phone. It’s hard to say no when you’re twelve. Now, I’m twenty-three, living with my family, and dear old grandmother has come to live with us due to natural causes that come with age.

I’m not interested in bashing her, so don’t think I’m a disgruntled grandchild. What I wanted to get out was that sometimes family doesn’t naturally turn out loving. Her ways haven’t changed. She’ll still try to pick on my younger sister when people aren’t around. It’s uncalled for and frustrating but it makes me wonder about her childhood.

Life isn’t easy for everybody. It isn’t smooth with nice scenic detours or full of smiles and warm greetings. I think she may have had some bad paths that helped shaped her into the woman she’s become.

She may be an annoying, draining person to me but that doesn’t mean she’s not a person. She does deserve the basic respect of attention and a show of concern when she’s being genuine. The problem is, how do you know when dementia or natural memory problems isn’t just an act?

I have the ability to observe people and be able to tell their true nature underneath all the props and charades and impersonations. Pair that with a major in Psychology, and far too many Sociology courses during college, and you get me.

I see a person with scars. I see a woman who can’t make proper connections with people around her, who doesn’t understand true affection and love, who has trouble changing.

For me, it just means, we’re never going to be more than we are now. I don’t hate her but I don’t feel love either and I can’t be faulted for that. As for her, I can’t fault her for being who she is. I just wish I could instill my view into the rest of my family who get so upset by her behaviour and attitude.

We can only expect people to be who they are. It’s wrong to expect anything more than that. So take the good moments when they come and for the bad, just remember they’ll pass. Why put energy into holding on to the negative?