Layers like Pages in an Old Journal

Reading her journals has not changed my perspective on what person my grandmother is, but it has given me layers.  I always knew she was playful, dancing in her chair when I come dancing into the room, or making semi lewd jokes about fireworks, but I’ve also “seen” her playfulness with her high school friends. …

The End of July, 1935 Excerpt

These three passages show Babu as an easily forgiving person, as someone who loved to have noise and entertainment around her, and as someone who held herself to high expectations maybe she’s never felt she’s reached.  They also show her as an average, highly dramatic teenager. A typical summer day: Monday July 29th, 1935 It’s…

“I don’t remember being fat…”

Something about two of her passages or July made me a little angry.  Body image issues at their finest.    Mother says I must do something cause I’m getting fat.  I’m starved but I won’t eat anything tonight. And then two days later: I think I ought to go on a diet. So unhealthy.  (Please note,…

The End of July, 1935

Summer.  Still summer.  She goes to Hampden Ponds, she goes swimming, she goes to the library, and helps around the house with chores like ironing.  Her cousin Edna is staying with them while she begins a new job locally and settles in.  She is wearing out her welcome and part of what’s causing a new…

First Two Weeks of July 1935 Excerpt

Sunday July 7th, 1935 It rains today.  All day in spurts.  I’m sorry for the people who planned to go to beaches but for myself I’m not a bit sorry it’s raining.  Read and slept most all day.  Sophie came up and we listened to the radio and talked.   I imagine this day as…

Oh, I Loved Her…

I was surprised when Babu first read July’s passages and didn’t remember “Auntie Nellie” who came to visit her in early July.  I had a dim memory of hearing about her before. But not every day is the same.  Last week I tried to pass off passages she already read to her and she shot…

The First Two Weeks of July, 1935

Ahhhh summer.  Reading this month just makes me want it.  Swimming, job hunting, swimming, fireworks, swimming, everything you would expect, but of course, this isn’t just any summer.  This is the summer before college. The house next to us had quite a bunch of fireworks tonight.They’re still blowing all about.  Sat on the porch for…

Fourth Week of June, 1935 Excerpt

Thursday June 27th, 1935 After practice today we, (Johnny and I) helped Mr. Donnegan with his register.  We came home with Mrs. Johnston and I did an errand for her.  It rained when we were going to the exercises but Dermot Salias’ sister gave us a ride.  I cried so at graduation.  When we sang…

Babchi’s Garden and Me

Some times when I share passages with Babu we are launched into talking sessions where stories are told, expanded, feature a cast of characters whom are, mostly, very loved, and explore poignant matters even to the extent of the meaning of life.  Sometimes she’s pretty quiet and reads to herself, laughs at a few things…

Fourth Week of June, 1935

She ended up going to the senior banquet with Jaime and she simply did not dig him.  I feel badly for her, the Babu of that time.  It’s bad enough to have a crush you can’t have and to see him going to all the senior events with another girl, a girl you are not…

Far More Tender than Stone

Reading the passages from Babu’s 1935 diary has taught me the least about her.  She felt the sting of unrequited love and crushing insecurity, she went to a double feature several times a week, she cared about her school work, and her tiffs with her friends were very short lived and her love for them…

What I gave Babu for Mother’s Day

I ordered seedlings from a community organization I love called Gardening the Community in Springfield, MA and after I went to pick them up I decided to place them all – 153 of them! – on Babu’s kitchen table to she could see them.  Then I waited for her to wake up from a nap…