Chapter Four – the Family

July 13, 2018

Reposing

After I had finished the “Part four – Conclusion” the other day (last night),  some kind of “nothingness” fell over me. Nothing bad, really. Not at all. I just didn’t do anything.

Other then my usual tour on the bike, I read some, spent time at the sofa as long as it was too warm to be on the patio, slept there for a while, and was doing some Jigsaw puzzles on the iPad.

I think I browsed iBooks too that day, for a while. Found this book “Loving yourself to great health” written by Louise Hay which I later bought, by the way. Very interesting! Very recommendable!

When bearable temperature at the patio again, I sat there reading until late. A “real” book now. “Eva Luna” by Isabel Allende.

Since “part four” I’ve also been thinking a lot. About life as such, about mom, dad… cried some… been hoping to feel some anger…

Been thinking about my former husband who also is the father of my three daughters. Now they’re grown-ups with kids of their own, and he is old and sick. What about him? He had also a peculiar childhood, but he told me very little about it.

My sister suffered from Psoriasis since very young, and later Multiple Sclerosis (MS). How was her upbringing? What did she feel when she was little and growing up? I know she had at least one experience of mom almost the same as I have. Mom didn’t care about us. She neglected us, and pushed us away. Sis always heard: You’re big, you can do it yourself! I heard: You’re so small. You can’t do it.

Sis got Psoriasis and MS. Anything else that I don’t know of?
I got anxiety, fibromyalgia and food allergies. Was also over-eating. Yes! It can very well be labeled as an addiction or eating disorder! Food is very good at soothing at anxiety attacks, you know. It doesn’t even have to be sugar or junk, ”just” eating too much, too often. I’m still not quite over it. Mostly but not to 100%

I realize I also almost my entire life have withdrawn myself from social encounters. Not as much as young, just a bit shy, but more and more the older I’ve become. Especially after those years with severe anxiety. As teenager, I went out dancing… 😀

My brother? What about him? Was he “mammy’s little boy” as my sister once said? I know he sucked his thumb until he was a grown-up and had a work as mechanic to go to. Later (?) he started smoking. Both he and I kept our smoking habits hidden to our mom and dad. The first time I saw him smoking, was at mom’s funeral. And still he walked away a bit, and turned his back to us. But he couldn’t fool his sisters. 😀

My grandparents? I know absolutely nothing about any of them. The only one still alive when I was born, was my mothers mother.
Her father, my Mom once told me, had died just a short while before I was born. One night she woke up and saw him standing by my bed, looking at me. When he realized she had awoken, he just said he wanted to see me since he hadn’t been able to do so before – then he vanished.

And Dad? What about him? How strong he must have been, my wonderful, caring Father! Did he suffer? Or was he able to bear it all?

There must have been love between my Mom and Dad, after all. Sis told me, that after Dad’s death, Mom, who at that time already had suffered from a couple of minor heart attacks and at least one small stroke, used to go to his grave, sitting there crying and screaming for him. “Come and fetch me! Bring me to you”

Almost exactly two years after his death, she got a major heart attack in her sleep, and finally reconnected with him.


July 19, 2018

Grandma

When I was little I used to be at my Grandma´s while Mom was working. I don’t know how old I was when she first started to take care of me, I just know I was there during the years before I began school. There was once a photo of me from the summer I was four, standing outside the building she lived in. But I have some random memories from before that.

Though I can hardly remember what Granny looked like. She was round, well – obese, and she always had her hair in a thin bun in the neck. I guess she looked like my mom did when she got older, and probably as I will look when I get old. Though I won’t be that round-figured! I promise! Even though I share the same genes. I eat better and love to ride the bike. At my age now, Mom was both obese and had diabetes 2 – I am not and I have not.

I have also decided I won’t die at 72-73 something like Granny and Mom – and Dad! I’ll be at least 104! And at that time I’ll have written several novels, made a lot of images based on my photos, been traveling around the world at least once and live in a nice cottage in some wilderness, having cats and a dog and a nice male-friend. 30-40 years younger than I. (I can settle for 7 years younger…) An artist of some kind. Also a writer, perhaps?

A girl can dream, can’t she?

No! Now! Back to Grandma!
As I said, I remember very little about her. Just bits and pieces here and there. But I remember some from her apartment! She had a kitchen and one room. Literally one room!  And a bathroom. And a hallway.

The kitchen was quite big. She had her bed there, which to me was huge. Like up to my armpits. At first I couldn’t climb up there by my own, but I grew on it! So to speak.
There was also a table in front of the window, and I remember she used to sit at the table, facing the window with the tree and the street outside when she was baking. She used to give me a piece of dough, but I just played with it until it was impossible to form into a bun. Then she took the piece, blended it into her much larger lump of dough, and gave me a new small one. Big enough to make one bun. It tasted very good when it came warm out from the oven, eaten with a glass of milk.

Once in a while the whole family came for dinner. At least my two uncles and someone else were there and I remember us eating vegetable soup with brothboiled meat and dumplings. We had one dumpling each, it was quite big, and I hated it. I hated the look of it, the texture of it, and that she used to seasoning it with some bitter almond.  “It’s supposed to be that way”, she said when I grumbled about it and refused to eat.
I didn’t have to eat the dumpling.
At those times, the table was moved in front of the bed, and three of us had to sit there. It was fun to eat sitting in the bed.

I have absolutely no idea what the dumplings were made of. Wheat flour I guess, but there might have been some mashed potato in there as well. I just saw her form the dough to pieces and then drop them into the broth to boil.

Or did she??? The dumplings had certainly not the texture like bread, they were sticky! Icky-sticky! Now when I think of it, they had more like the texture of polenta or grits, but even stickier. Nowadays I like polenta, real polenta, very much.

She had a big cupboard where she kept her groceries. The most odd there were jars with cow-berry jam, (lingonberries) and in each jar was a whole, peeled, pear. It was like magic when she opened the jar, and suddenly pulled out a dark-red colored pear! Like – Oooops!!!

Over the sink, under the cupboards on the wall, was a row with small containers attached. They were made of china, had a handle also of china, withe – of course – and with blue flowers painted on the front. In those containers she kept wheat flour, sugar, salt and in some smaller ones she had spices. I remember the cinnamon sticks.

This was before the plastic era!

The room was big and had a large window. Along one of the walls she had a bed sofa with an oldfashion bedspread and a rather big handmade cushion which had tassels attached at all four corners. (You know about “tofsar”, don’t you?) I loved tht cushion and used to play with it. Let the tassels dance…

There was a… no, there must have been two armchairs, and a three armed floor lamp. On the other side of the room there was a chest of drawers, and I imagine some kind of dinner table with chairs, and perhaps a small book shelf. The whereabouts of these items are more or less a guessing from my part, then actually remembering

My youngest uncle slept there at nights, he had a fiancée somewhere, but at that time he wasn’t married yet. He must have been around 37-38 then, so not exactly the youngest fiancé ever.  But he was very nice and I loved him deeply. Once in a while I was allowed to sleep over at grandma’s, and that was really funny. The sofa became a bed, one of the lamps was lit, we brushed our teeth together, put our clothes off and pyjamas on – and to make this very clear – we didn’t do THAT together! Everyone back then was more or less prudent. Mostly more… The whole era was prudent!

Then uncle put the two armchairs together for me to sleep in. Yes! The armrests was all around me, and the whole thing was soooo cosy!

Uncle had once bought me a Christmas present, and long before the time was due, grandma blabbed and told me what he had bought for me. She had said something about a small doll which was dancing. And I of course asked uncle about it. He got so angry with Granny that she had revealed what was supposed to be a secret for a while longer, but then he fetched the package and gave it to me. Inside was a small bed for my doll, with cover, a cushion and all. Then, hidden in the bed was also a small music box, with a ballerina dancing round and round on top of it. Wish I could remember what music it was. Some waltz from Wienna??? Maybe rather Twinkle, twinkle little star!

At that time in my life I had an invisible friend called “Icke”. Pronounced like “beek,” whith an “e” at the end. Not that that matters much… and isn’t icky…
The word means, by the way, something like “no” or “non” in a somewhat posh-y meaning. Not in the normal talking-way. So there we also have the stiff upper-ip, again. LOL

So what about “Icke” then? Well. Nothing really. I played with her, talked with her. I had no playmates my own age as I was little, so… Thus, I have a three year older cousin, but didn’t get to meet her particularly often. She stumbled on a branch in the wood once, all the blueberries fell out of her little basket and GOSH how she screamed.

Continue to: Chapter Five – Life goes on!