Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Hug for Grandma Nicholls

This is a small experience of mine involving Great Grandma Nicholls. A confession, really. This happened several years ago, I was probably between 10 and 12. I went on a trip with Dad and Kara to Canada where we spent time in St Thomas, Ontario with Grandpa and Grandma Wilson. Grandma's mom was well advanced in years, at least 85, and was living with them.

One morning, Kara and I gave Grandma Wilson hugs. Great Grandma Nicholls then turned to me and said "Grandma wants a hug too." At the time, my little 10-yr old brain thought "Hug Grandma? I just DID hug Grandma less than 5 seconds ago. Her age must be getting the best of her mind, poor Great Grandma." So...what did I do? Nothing. I just stood there awkwardly smiling at her. Didn't budge. I didn't know the best way to respond to a request that didn't make sense. A request that, as far as a little kid like me could tell, suggested mild dementia. 

Kara looked at me and said "Bryan," a bit reprovingly, suggesting that I do as she requested. In a moment I suddenly realized that SHE was asking for the hug...because, of course, she is Grandma too. But I still didn't budge, and she just waited there. To the best of her understanding, she was simply rejected by her great grandson. But, in reality, my poor self conscious and awkward self got the best of me! I felt embarrassed about my mistake, felt embarrassed about being reproved, and didn't know how to acknowledge my mistake and right the wrong. 

Later that day or maybe the next, someone mentioned to me how sad it made Great Grandma that I never gave her a hug. Again I felt embarrassed by the situation and didn't know how to respond.

She passed away in 2003, and I don't think I ever took the chance to give her a hug since the time of the incident. I'm very sorry Grandma! I didn't mean to make you feel rejected. I am grateful for you, what you've done for me, especially for raising such a magnificent daughters, my Grandma and Aunt Betty. I like to think that you can understand some of my feelings now and recognize how bad I feel about the situation. I want to make it right. I am sorry for causing you that grief. So from the virtual world into the spiritual world, here is a heartfelt hug from your great grandson Bryan. I love you very much. I can't wait to see you again! I look forward to giving you a real hug then!



PS, Dad or Kara, if I've got my age wrong in this story, please let me know. I'm thinking it was between 1994 and 1996.


Kara said...

I have no recollection of that incident.

I do remember learning on that trip that Great-Grandma and Grandpa Nicholls eloped and didn't tell anyone they were married for several months (living at their respective homes and everything)!

Things were economically difficult then and they didn't want to burden anyone. It certainly was a different time with concerns that we don't have. It seems to me that they were much less self-focused than we, as young people, are today.

Emily Wilson said...

This is not Emily --We all have regrets - the dumb things we did or didn't do. "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted." Thanks for sharing Bryan! Mom

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