My maternal grandmother taught me what kindness means; to love with an unselfish love, and to never judge or condemn anyone. Since she died in 2013, I’ve always felt grandmother-less. Funny, or sad thing is, my paternal grandmother is alive and kicking, but when I think of her, I’m not overcome by any feeling of warmth, or affection. I just feel very indifferent towards her. Reason being, she’s the reason mom was never accepted by her in-laws; she was shunned the day dad took her home, because she was poor.
As if that was not enough, even after they got married in church, she’s always been trying to remove her from dad’s life; and as an extension of her unfounded hatred for mom, she’s always hated my sisters and I because we’re the progeny of a poor woman. She never took time to know us, but somehow she still detests our existence. How is that Christ-like?
Whenever I hear dad talking about her, I get the impression he yearns for his mother’s love. He’s always trying to get her validation, but somehow, it never comes. I pity him. Seeing as dad works out of town, mom went to visit him about a month ago, and she stayed there for two weeks. Normally I don’t trust mom to be in safe hands when she’s alone with dad, I mean, it’s one of the reasons I developed an anxiety disorder in my teenagehood when I was away in boarding school; I always feared he’d harm her.
Owing to that, I made a point of calling mom every day, just to check on her. On the days I was too busy to call, I’d ensure my small sister did. Most of the days she sounded happy, but on other days she’d be sounding so disgruntled, saying how dad was acting up. For instance, at night he’d be drinking with the music blaring so she couldn’t sleep.
However, one afternoon she told me of a heart-rending conversation she had with dad. Though she did not delve into the finer details of that conversation, she told me dad almost cried, while telling her how he was so sure his mom doesn’t love him. I know he’s right because out of him and his three siblings, two of whom are now deceased, his mom loved his two older siblings more. In case you’re wondering, she did not love them because she thought they were virtuous. Nope! She just loved them because of their fat bank accounts, and deep pockets.
In that regard, her second son, may he rest in peace, was her favourite. Weirdly though, he left very many baby mamas (‘wives’) and children, some of whom were being introduced to the family during the wakes. The mother encouraged his promiscuity, because if he was a bachelor, she would get to benefit financially, from his lack of obligations to any wife and kids.
It is no wonder, consequent to his death, she’s one of the aggrieved parties in an intestate succession case, claiming a share of his estate; not just a small percentage, but a huge chunk of it. When my dad was almost tearing up talking about his mother, mom comforted him, telling him God always finds a way to balance things because He gave him a loving wife and children, to make up for his mom’s shortcomings.
I silently wondered if dad would have turned out different if he’d accepted his mother’s preferential treatment of his siblings sooner. He’s been in denial pretty much all his life, until recently, when he couldn’t ignore it any longer. She was being too obvious about it.