07 June 2005


Valerie Kack-Brice, from For She is the Tree of Life: Grandmothers through the Eyes of Women Writers:

“As a psychotherapist I have seen many women who have struggled to heal their loss of childhood. I began to see, as in my own life, a thread of powerful memories involving grandmothers woven throughout their lives. Some women are grateful for the modeling and support their grandmothers gave. As children, many were desperate for the connection to a loving presence, relieved to have structure and routine from a mature caregiver. For many, snapping peas and kneading dough were simple activities that slowed the pace of life and marked significantly the passage of time shared between granddaughter and grandmother. In these moments grandmothers transmitted history, wisdom, practical information, and concern to [granddaughters]. For many women, their grandmother’s care served as a balm for mistreatment and loneliness; grandmother became healer to the wounded spirit.

“For other women, grandmother is a frightening presence. She is abrupt or overbearing, distant or cool. And sometimes her criticism motivates decisions toward a particular profession, lifestyle or behavior. Again, even in the disappointment of an unsupportive grandmother, women gain potent lessons about loving. Either in joy of her caring or the sorrow of her criticism, women find healing. Grandmother is rarely a neutral moniker.”


My Tenacious List of Positives to Neutralize a Hard Day

•getting a call from Leslie and enjoying his funny and caring 15-minute chat
•getting my blood test results and learning that my level is about where it should be be at this point
•finding six simple white curtain panels and their tie-backs (gratefully received living room first aid) at the thrift store
•also finding a duplicate copy of a favorite book, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Stories for Children, one I can give to Christine as a baby gift
•coming home after a long day of errands with Gram to find that Marianne had kindly left a wonderful dinner for me and my family on the doorstep–food so colorful, fresh, and ample that when I peeked into the containers I cried
•Yasmir also showing up with her latest kitchen creation–so sweet of her even though I am mercurially opposed to tuna fish
•knitting and realizing that silk must be one of the fibers in the mystery yarn I’m working with
•watching the documentary Spellbound with Rob
•Rob not having to work late
•watermelon, deseeded
•the liberating ability to read
•listening to an uplifting radio broadcast while I worked in the kitchen
•discovering KnitKnit

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