Today is my deceased mother's birthday,which made me think of my maternal grandmother,Ora Wilcox,whom I never met because she died before I was born.
My mom often said I was alot like her,and I know I got my musical ear from her. She, like me,went to a conservatory and majored in piano. She could transpose into any key by ear,as I can. There is a resemblance I see in her expression,sort of wistful and gentle.
She gave my mother life,and for this I am grateful. But Mother was the only child she bore,and she did not know much about being a mother. Her husband was a stockbroker who would stop off at the bar on the way home,while Ora hung at the window,crying for him to come home.AS the years went by she began to drink at home to kill the pain. They began to have parties,which would go on all night,(so my mom told me,)and the next day my mom would go around cleaning up all the dirty glasses and ashtrays. Ora and my mother were enmeshed.When my mom did something wrong Ora would not smile for days .My mother said this was the worst form of torture,to not have her mother smile at her."wont you smile,mama" my mother would plead,"no,BAby Dear,I am not smiling today"
My sister and I think this was a cruel punishment for a little girl,and we think it is what helped along my mothers bipolar illness. For I think poor Ora was bipolar,too. AS well as an alcoholic.
My mother was not at all close to her father.She said he died after "falling off a streetcar". That,in itself,is strange.
Mother was close to her grandfather,Ora's father.She called him Grandpaw.He was manager of a store in Chicago.Sometime,(I dont know when in the sequence of things,)my grandmother wound up in Jackson TEnnessee(I dont know whether it was as a child or as an adult) She lived in a big house with servants.Ora's mother"always looked old", said my mother,and read the Bible all day.
So these bits and pieces I am putting together as I am doing some intergenerational therapy,to help me better understand myself,my marriage,and my own behaviior. GRandmother Wilcox also had an affair,my mother said,but she couldln't deal with even thinking it. The man gave Ora gifts like oriental rugs and things. Mother said he looked like Woodrow Wilson.
AS I ponder these things,my own penchant for being "swept off my feet" becomes clearer. Having come from two women who both had trouble with relationships,and didn't face life realistically,makes me see my own self acting out in a similar manner.
But I have choices now,and the knowledge of this background helps me see that I can choose to break the chain,and become whole,through my own soul work. And I am doing this,and its hard and painful,but I think in the long run will help me see my life more clearly. And so,while I will always be "attached by an invisible thread" to my lost soulmate,I can also face the hard reality that we will never get to be together(unless a miracle happens). Hard as this is,I try not to prooject into the future,but rather concentrate on what I can do ech day,working toward emotional and spiritiula health.I dont have to make any decisions until I am ready. And I need to stay in the here and now.
And I haven't even scratched the surface of my dad's family.
Causes Heather Koelle Supports
public health care,world peace,environmental stewardship,psychology,society against child abuse,spiriitual and psychological quests,recovery issues,mental...