GROWING OLD WITH GRACIE

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Western Maryland, United States

Monday, July 12, 2010

Life. Interrupted.




Why do movies and books about mental patients intrigue me?  Why does my heart hurt so much for those with lost minds who don't have a clue?  Why could I not stop sobbing after watching this movie tonight?  And Shutter Island.  Why couldn't I speak at the movies conclusion...?

Then I remembered.



She's the one circled.   Mom's Mom aka Grandma.  She wasn't your typical grandma... for she was driven to insanity early on in life.  Circumstances.  You know.


But every other Sunday my Mom and my Pappy visited her at the mental institution.   We stopped at the 7-Day Market to buy a pint of Sealtest chocolate ice cream and a bottle of Pepsi for her and a hoagie and Tab for Mom.  All of us would sit in the car and they ate while I opened my surprise...  things like a bobby pin, a stick of gum and an orange button...  wrapped in thick beige stocking and tied with a string... It was all she had to offer.   She'd ramble on about silly stuff as she gently scraped the melting ice cream from the sides of the cardboard container with the shiny silver spoon Mom brought along for her.  I didn't really understand her but I'd smile and nod and then she'd give me a big toothless smile from ear to ear and mutter unknown lingo.  Then the real treat!  Creamy chocolate ice cream melted to perfection and leaking from the containers soft seams.  She always saved some for me.  
I often wondered what it was like inside that mental institution where she lived.  But even more than that .... What was it like inside of herself?  
I was a kid then.  But my thoughts of her were pure.

My heart hurt that she was separated from the world in her thoughts...  but in a way I cherished her innocence.




Mom's Mom.  My Grandma.