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Friday, January 21, 2011

in memory of


she always went by Vi, though her name was Violet. Violet Rose. a lovely, delicate name for a petite woman who was quite a stunner in her younger years. she didn't like her name. Vi has been my stepmother since i was 3. in elementary school, my friends called her 'the wicked stepmother'.

she's not smiling because i was the one taking the picture. she didn't like me. the picture on her memorial program thingy is much nicer. she's smiling at the camera in that one. i didn't take that picture.

there will be no funeral. that's how dsyfunctional we are. not even a memorial service. nothing. my father won't have it. i'm told she spent her last days worrying that the wrong person would get her royal albert china. (i suspect her greatest fear was that i had been secretly coveting it all these years) i have this information second-hand, because, being her least favorite person in the world, it seemed wisest just to stay away. as my presence seemed always to be a catalyst for trouble of some kind, i didn't visit her during those days. and i don't want the china.

it seems that the death of an abusive parent is no easier than that of a good 'un. some say, even harder.


Cicero Sings said...

Oh my! Probably the person she wanted to have the china doesn't want it anyway!!!! People hardly use china anymore as it needs to be hand washed and dried.

I'm sorry you hand a wicked step mother and from such a young age. A double whammy. One likes to think that wicked step mothers only happen in story books. I must say, she sure doesn't look very pleasant in that picture. I can't understand such animosity ... and to be carried through the years and held on to. She can't have been a very happy woman. So much for good looks ... it is what is in the heart that counts!

susan said...

Although she may have been pretty enough when young there's something proudly implacable in this photograph of your stepmother that makes her unattractive to my eyes. Her barely repressed sneer indicates nothing other than some ultimately sad victory over her better nature.

I can't imagine how anyone could dislike the lovely three year old I'm sure you were. She should have taken out her bad temper on the china that really did outlast her.

Cicero's right that it's what in the heart that counts. Yours is a good one.

Seraphine said...

it's funny what people worry about. worrying about one's china rather than one's relationships, for example.

i'm sorry for your loss, gfid.

lots of hugs.

lindsaylobe said...

Sorry to hear about your experience with your ‘stepmother' but I understand writing about it can be a cathartic experience. Maybe it will help to express some more of your thoughts about it all one day as part of your life story.

Best wishes

gfid said...

cicero - i'm sure she had a heart, but i wasn't privy to its contents.

su - i've had random thoughts of smashing the china myself, but i'll behave myself. "lovely three year old".... funny you should say that. just before they split up, my parents entered a picture of me in a 'beautiful baby' contest, and i won. the prize was a studio photo shoot with a professional photographer. my dad still carries one of those pictures in his wallet. vi hated that picture.

sera - thanks for your kind words. i'm sorry for your loss too.

lindsay - as always, your advice is sound.... and i think i agree with you, but i'm afraid to start.

susan said...

I knew you were always lovely :-)

Seraphine said...

this would be a good time to write a song, perhaps a piece for cello and violin.

clairesgarden said...

yeah, aren't your relatives just peachy sometimes. what bugs the crap out of me with the stepparent thing is that no other family members step in to protect the child. I find as an adult they all now comment 'oh your childhood was a bit hard'. what's the reply to that? oh thanks, wish you'ld said that forty years ago.
I am content the stepparent is no longer around.

gfid said...

claire - you too!? your post equates to an over-the-water hug. many thanks for that. ....if only someone would admit it was 'a bit hard'. what i get from them is, "what did she ever do to you?" complete denial.

gfid said...

sera - i've dug out my Garageband training book and am learning how to use this amazing software. cellos... yes..... maybe oboe and string bass, clarinet.... all very dark and moody and melancholy.

su - you'd not say that if you could see me just now. not lovely lately. rarely get out of my jammies (even to walk the poor neglected dog once a day) and then i cram a hat on my head to hide the bad hair. am on bereavement leave for a week, and making the most of it. have told my dad i have the flu and can't come see him.

linda said...

darling, my father died a few years ago, abusive as hell, and we did not speak his last 15 years on the planet if not more and still, when he died, or more when i was informed he 'might be' by my lovely abusive mother, [he proceeded to finally do the deed almost a year later], i was very surprised at how emotionally difficult it was....i have a therapist and she was of great help in understanding how one's emotions work during times like well, my friend, this will pass and no, she is not a happy looking woman and, tho i have no idea of anything other than what you wrote, the second i laid eyes on her, i knew it.....been there, done that..xox

gfid said...

linda - oi! you too!? your words are mortar in the cracks of my crumbling foundations. thanks, more than i know how to say.

Entre Nous said...

I went through that four times in three years. It was horrible, always reminded me of the maids going through the linens in A Christmas Carol. The ones that show up to scrounge are the worst souls...