My mom's mother passed away this week. We just found out today. I guess most people would call their mom's mother their grandma, but that seems inappropriate for this relationship. I didn't know my mom's mother. I wager to say that no one really did, at least not in a real sense. I know that my mother tried. I know she loved her with all her heart as a child, and watched as it was broken repeatedly by the one person that is supposed to love you from the start.
And yet this unexpected news of her death has us all thinking. For my mother, did she try hard enough to forge a relationship with her mother? The answer, yes. She did the best she could with what she was given, and in this case she wasn't given much. For myself (and I assume my sister), what was she like? What made her do, say and act the awful way she did? How can you be a mother, and yet have no sense of feeling for others let alone your own child? Are we like her at all, even a smidgen? Could things have been different? What if we could have called her grandma with pride? We are left with too many what if's.
Instead, my mom and I fly out to Copenhagen Friday to sort through what was and to close the book on what if's. My grandmother passed away alone in her apartment and wasn't found for days. It's the saddest and loneliest thing I can imagine, and yet also the most fitting.