Saturday, October 2, 2010

Not Family

I never met Steve’s Grandmother. Because we were not married my mother-in-law could not bring herself to tell this devout Christian woman that her grandson was living in sin. His grandmother also went to her deathbed not knowing that she had great-grandchildren. Even so, when she died Steve’s mom bestowed on me a needlepoint handbag his grandmother had made. I guess because I sew, and would appreciate it. When I use that bag, I am touched by evidence of this phantom matriarch – a needle and thread in the lining – she was always at the ready to make a quick repair.

When Steve’s great-aunt had to be moved into a nursing home, Steve and I made the trip to Ottawa to help his mother clear out the old family abode. We were told we could have anything we wanted, but when we got there anything good had been labeled with his sister and brother’s names. Later I helped his mother clear out the nursing home room after the aunt died. Again I was told I could choose something. I liked a lovely cranberry glass vase. “Oh, no, that has been in the family for generations.” I was put in my place.

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