actually i think about her most days, but today was a little different.
i had always wondered why she never left my grandfather when she appeared to be mostly (except for a few interim moments) pretty miserable.
they fought like cats & dogs & never really had anything nice to say to one another. they co-existed, or so it seemed.
they slept in different rooms & never really attended ‘functions’ together, like i saw other couples do.
there was always an air of animosity & tension.
poor old nan got the blame for most of that.
don’t get me wrong, i love both of my grandparents way beyond i love most things. but there things that my eyes & heart didn’t really understand.
as i become more ‘vocal’ & more of a feminist i suppose, my misplaced disdain for nan being in a situation she really didn’t like, made me question what she was up too.
why didn’t she just move on? start a new life? like my mama had when my father turned out to be a dick.
well, today i caught a glimpse of nans plight. i understood in a new way, why she didn’t or rather, couldn’t, ‘change’ her situation. it was something that i did know really, but not really really. lol. yah know when you really get the gist of something.
nan was a woman. a woman of the pre & post WW2 era. while she was fiercely independent & an entrepreneur & trailblazer of her era; she was limited.
because she was a woman.
where does a woman with no steady income – no ‘credentials’ – no ability to drive let alone purchase a vehicle – no ‘tribe’ that was accepting of her & her life choices (she married a man-of-colour, my grandfather, & was ostracised for it) – no alternatives – with declining mental health issues & daily challenges of small town living & generalised ‘woman misunderstanding’ – with a mouth that challenged the patriarchy @ every turn & was demonised for it.
where does that woman go when there is no where to go?
i guess i hadn’t really understood that sometimes, there is literally No Place To Go.
when that happens, you make a choice – a limited choice, but a choice none-the-less.
you remain in the situation that you know & that you can manoeuvre some type of freedom out of. as limited as that may be, it is better than the weighed up alternative – homelessness. aloneness.
today i understood her.
i understood her choices.
i admire her more than i think i have ever admired her before.