Poor Orphan or Lucky Girl?

childhood

My Grandmother and I had THE TALK shortly after my 16 birthday. It was the talk, where she tried to explain to me what being an adult and being a woman meant. I tried to explain to her that I knew it all -or almost all- but she didn’t listen. She made me sit down and then she started talking and I listened.

I expected the “bee-story”, but it wasn’t that at all. It was more her way of telling me that I should start thinking and acting like an adult. She looked at me for a long time and said “you do know that you will be alone one day, after I am gone” and I remember the whirlwind of emotions that sentence caused in me.

It was like she had opened Pandora’s Box with just one sentence.

I knew my Grandmother was old and I was aware of the fact that she might be passing on one day. Buy that day was far away down the road. She would see me getting married; she would be there when I would have children. I had no doubt in my mind that she would still be around for many years to come.

The world “orphan” came to my mind and I wondered what would happen to me. My Grandmother knew what I was thinking; she continued talking about the farm and about all the responsibilities.

The farm belonged to us, but only the buildings. The land was a 99-year church rental, something that is still very common in Europe.

The conversation took a different turn after that. She showed me a drawer in her bedroom, with envelopes full of instructions and paperwork. She wanted me to know what I had to do “in case….”.

Then she got the atlas, the big book I loved so much and she put it on the table. “You are so lucky“, she said “you won’t be forced to stay on the farm like so many” and I didn’t understand.

Wasn’t that what I was supposed to do with my life? Well, it wasn’t what she wanted me to do with my life and that day I learned about the faith she had in me.

She wanted me to study at a University, she wanted me to travel and see the places I always read and talked about.

“The world is yours”, that was her message to me that day and she said it with a sparkle in her eyes.

My Grandmother didn’t pass away until I was an adult, but that day changed my mind set for good. I was still a teenager, but had stepped into my future for just a short time.

Later on in life I learned that she had been right. I was lucky and still am~!

rv-weltatlas


When Childhood Ends

Write about a defining moment in your life when you were forced to grow up in an instant (or a series of instants).

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Poor Orphan or Lucky Girl?

  1. Bridget, i have tears in my eyes. You expressed this so clearly, it made me appreciate my own darling grandmother too. What a wise and unselfish woman your grandmother was and how lucky that she could see a different and better future for you!

  2. Pingback: When Childhood Ends… | Impromptu Promptlings

  3. I’m afraid I did the same thing to my 2 sons the first time we left them alone at home while we travelled to the other side of the country. They were 17 and 15.
    I have this *thing* about planning for worst case scenarios. I walked them through our filing cabinet of papers and various accounts and 3 critical phone numbers to call if anything ever happened. Those 3 people would be able to take care of anything and everything.
    It freaked them out a little bit … but, much like you said, they matured several notches following that experience.

    • Now in retrospect I can say it was the right thing to do. I needed to be prepared just in case. I think there is a day in our life when we look at the unicorn and see it as what it is, just a horse :-). Your sons will remember how responsible you acted when they were young and I would bet they will do the same whit their children one day.

      • You mean unicorns are real?!! {crushed dreams}

        We never really know which of our actions leave scars vs positive influences. Having said that, I’m relieved to see that my sons have developed a practical approach to life but still have a sense of adventure 🙂

      • I hear you, I almost fell of my unicorn when I heard someone question their existence :-).

        Honestly -just between you and me- I think children who are raised with love but lost of realism make better adults.

  4. You had a wise grandmother. No nonsense and very caring. I had parents and my paternal grandparents were very much in the back-ground, especialy after we migrated to Australia. A very well told memory.

  5. I lived with my father and stepmother until I graduated, then I left my family and “discovered”my granny.
    Authoritative , but wise and sincere , she taught me a lot through the stories and the examples she wanted me to know ….
    As for the end of childhood , it was while expecting my first child , for me!
    I thought I had already grown up , as I looked like an adult , but secretly , until then I had only been a little girl!

  6. I had no goal, no plan, except that I would write. I wrote. I married. I unmarried. I remarried. I unmarried. In there was a kid, friends, jobs, life, more life, near death, life again, love again, new home, newer home, old-new home, almost dead, back to life. But I didn’t know I was an adult until I became a grandmother. And I’m still waiting to find out what I’ll be if I grow up.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s