July 21, 2003

the torture of love

Category: Alzheimers,family — Biella @ 4:03 pm

These days my mom can’t do much that requires sight though she can see to some degree. It is strange, it is as if she sees but in a distorted way missing a lot of what is around her and just plain misperceiving things. She has always had a will of kryptonite so she still insists on doing stuff that requires sight, it just takes her a lot longer and she then puts objects in funny places. But the woman can still talk which she has always been able to do and now that she can’t do much else, she really goes full throttle.

Tonight she told a collection of stories on love. She spoke of the love between my grandparents in Russia which is a particularly tender and romantic story and then she told of her loves and romantic escapades which included that of my father. I really like the one of my grandparents because first of all, they were never married and he left another woman and his daughter because he fell so deeply in love with my grandmother at first sight. I know that is a raw deal for the other woman but those stories of undiluted passion are quite a treat.

Apparently, they had (or at least they thought they had) this psychic communication, thinking the same thoughts at the same time, many times over. I guess it was easier to connect in such a way without all this modern technology we have these days… ;-) The sad thing was that right after they met my grandfather was jailed by Stalin for 10 years. There you find the man of your dreams and he is jailed for a long time in a prison where there is a high chance of dying. A long time to wait, no?

But I am here so obviously it all worked out. My grandmother did what any woman in love does when their sweetheart in jailed by Stalin–> You visit often and most importantly bring food and blankets so your desired one does not perish in what must have been pretty atrocious prisons. My grandfather though was a crafty man and a man in love so he was able to shorten his prison time considerably. When he got out after a few years, he ran off with my grandmother. They eventually left Russia during WWII, lived as refugees with a number of children all over Europe for 4 years, and finally landed in Venezuela where the settled as farmers in the hot, humid town of Barcelona to face more hardships for year resettling again in a foreign place (think Cleveland Ohio) in the early 1960s.

In all they had 6 kids (though one died) and apparently fought and loved as if those were the same thing. The tragedy to all of this (and of course since this is a primarily Russian tale, it has to be tragic. Russians attract tragedy like moths are attracted to light) is that my grandfather suffered a tad from paranoia, its main manifestation was that he thought his great love was unfaithful although he could never prove it and in all likelihood my grandmother was probably committing no adultery. Perhaps it was just his deep seated guilt manifesting over the fact that he had left a wife and daughter for someone else. If he had been able to do it, why not her?

So after he buried her he apparently locked himself into a room where my mother found him weeping and it is a sad weep that I even remember (another thing is that Russians have no aversion to is tears). When she asked why he was crying, he swore that one of my grandmother’s lovers brought flowers to her grave after the funeral. Beautiful that he loved her so much but so sad he suffered so much thinking that she perhaps was not faithful. He loved a love that was more torturous that love already is

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