While considering the impact of family connections on our lives, I was reminded of my own creations. Books I have written about dysfunctional families and loss.
My current WIP, Interior Designs, is about a woman who is reexamining her life and the connections she has established…and those she has lost. Nostalgia follows her everywhere.
In this scene, she is visiting her grandmother, one of her favorite family members. Someone who makes her feel whole. But beneath the feeling of warmth, a fear lurks.
Gran opened the back door and greeted me with her welcoming smile. After the gab fest with Maeve, and now with the prospect of spending time with my other favorite person, I felt renewed. Strengthened, even, and with the guilt that had blanketed me daily for the longest time slowly dissipating, I felt as though I could move on.
We headed to the living room, where Gran had already prepared a tray. I’d called her just before driving over, so now, I picked up the cup and sipped. It was a delicious and fragrant tea that reminded me of something. What was it? My mind traipsed backwards to a time when Maeve and I had poked around in those Tower District shops, including one that specialized in incense and tea. Yes, that’s where I’d first inhaled this scent. “Gran,” I murmured, enjoying the aroma, as well as the taste. “What’s this tea called? It seems familiar to me.”
“Oh, Constant Comment, I think,” she frowned slightly, as if her own memories were untrustworthy.
Which reminded me of some worries I’d been having…about her difficulty with retrieving things that she would normally have recalled right away. But then, many older people had some of these issues, and it didn’t mean they were suffering from some kind of ailment, like Alzheimer’s. That was always my biggest fear when it came to Gran. As she was my best supporter and advocate, and had been for many years, I was always worried that I would lose pieces of her. Slowly but surely, disappearing before my eyes.
Why did I suddenly fear losing everything and everyone that mattered? First, I’d worried that Maeve would judge me if I confided some of my worst behaviors; then I’d feared losing any relationship I might develop, which seemed to be reinforced by recent events. Zach’s betrayal mimicked my earlier loss of Hal. Could I ever really have anyone of my own, who would be there for me forever?
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