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the only picture of my grandma

grandma.jpg
I never met this lady, but she's my grandmother on my Mom's side.

My mom was adopted by two loving people who I grew up calling my grandma and grandpa. While they were alive, my mom and I sometimes had discussions about trying to find her blood family. She was really concerned about hurting her adopted mom's feelings, and I totally understood. Grandma Goldberg had raised her up and she felt a lot of obligation to her. Plus, my mom was a firm believer in "nurture" being more important than "nature".

When both of her adoped parents died, I again asked her to go find some family while there were some left. Finally, she took my advice and did. She met some family that welcomed her with open arms. She met her half-sister and now they are close friends. But unfortunately, I found out that my grandpa was (mostly) non-determinable, and my grandma was already gone. All I have is this one picture of her smiling face, which I finally scanned and can send back to my relatives.

She looks so much like my mom, and I hear she was a bit of a wild one, which doesn't surprise me in the least. In general I'm not too interested in geneology, but I sure would love to have had a conversation with this lady.

my dad's side

On my Dad's side I did get to see both grandparents alive. Both of them were Russian Jews from the Ukraine, making me fully half Russian. My grandmother, Gloria, known to us as "Bubby Glore" was evidently quite the ballroom dancer, but by the time I got to know her she was a bit of a shriveled up old lady. For a short time I lived with her and my Dad in her Chicago apartment, and that didn't really do wonders for our relationship, unfortunately. She died without me being able to sincerely apologize for calling her a bitch. I think I'm probably due some karmic smackdown for that one.

My grandfather, a man who ran a diner in downtown Chicago for many years, wasn't speaking to my Dad by the time I met him, shortly before his death. He went by the name "Papa High". We were brought to meet him at about age 12 and he got agitated and said, "Get them out of here." I was pretty pissed off at him for not at least saying hi, but I do know how my Dad can wear on someone's second to last nerve, and then get right to work on their last one, so I don't blame him too bad.

But...that makes only one blood grandparent I ever had a conversation with. Luckily I had several extended grandparents. Maybe I'll do some grandparent stories. Maybe I can get my mom to send me some photos.

 

Comments

Papa Hy, short for Hyman, a very traditional jewish name. Photos. Sure, of whom?

Yeah, I really believed in nuture more than nature until I met my sister Sandy. Now I think we are who we are. Genetic makeup is a freaky thing.

I think sincere repentance and some service to an elderly person would mitigate that karmic smackdown.