In Place of Grandparents
Through circumstances--an efficient, two-word
explanation--I had grandparents but knew none
of them. Two were dead before I lived; the
two living were near enough but not to be
encountered. Like most children, I probably
could have benefited from that mild antidote
to parents--the grandparent. In place of it,
I got some stories--what the dead ones had
been like, what filial fractures had made
the lives ones off-limits. Narratives became
my grandparents: unusual, sure; not horrible.
I came to know of treacheries and betrayals,
primal scenes, the weather of resentment.
The stories of other people become key parts
of our own lives. That sounds something like
a grandparent might say.
Copyright 2010 Hans Ostrom