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Breaking Bread

May 17, 2012

We break bread

We drink wine

We share blood and history that only families can.

More than 15 years have passed since we last saw each other

Our grandmother watches from across the room in a photo framed and beautiful.

Sepia toned by time, not photo shop.

She smiles from behind her ukulele as her grand daughters – her only grand daughters – share life, share their children, share pain and triumphs, stories of marriage and divorce, love and loss, lasagna and tiramisu.  And wine.

The comfort felt with family, the similarities across miles, the family resemblance is remarkable.

Nature and nurture are one and the same here.

Our teacher mothers, our absent fathers, our independent spirits, our sensitive hearts, our two older brothers, our blonde hair, our green eyes.

Your son looks like my uncle.

Your daughter looks like my Grandmother.

My daughter looks….well, kinda like you.

I sleep better that night than I have for months.

I answered questions, I asked new ones.

Anxiety replaced with calm, connection, legacy, love. 

In my slumber, I heard the sounds of my Grandmother’s piano, smelled her cigarettes and her perfume. 

In my sleep, I truly heard the meaning in her silence for the first time.  The torture in her past.  The judgment always present.  The woman she was expected to be in direct contrast with the woman she wanted to be; the woman she was.  In her silence, I saw her sadness, her helplessness.  She was a victim.  Of life, of circumstance, of men, of the era in which she was born, of her own outlook on life.

In my dreams, I held my Grandma’s hand and showed her what had become of the journey she started out on so many years ago.  What became of her lineage, her legacy.  What had become of the two grand daughters she could have never imagined 100 years before when her own journey was just beginning.  Seeing them intertwined and connected, overlapping and in tact, beautiful and strong and secure and providing for their own families, my Grandmother took a sip of wine, patted my hand and she smiled.

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