"Dear Prudence" by Amanda Grieme

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dear Nanny... Shadows

The Evening of 3/12 - Shadows
Dear Nanny -

I received the most beautiful letter today from your daughter Madelaine, my aunt, who I haven’t seen since your funeral almost ten years ago. Nanny, the letter was so endearing. It began with “I have loved you since I had my first peek at you in the hospital. I stayed with you and your mom, dad, and amber for the first week of your life. You were so pink and sweet and smelled like fresh air and flowers.” I was touched, and I cannot feel much lately.

Then she went on to reveal some really interesting things. Nanny, unbeknownst to family, she had bouts of depression for many years, and had been medicated for the past 25 years; like me, she had decided several times to stop taking the medication, and suffered as a result. Poor Madelaine. She has five children, and I am sure that like you, she suffered in silence for their sake. It’s not fair.

Tonight over dinner I asked my mom some questions about our lineage, and she said that you, I, and herself are not the only ones who have felt the repercussions of this debilitating genetic illness, but your sister, Aunt Viv committed suicide in the early 80s. She told me that Viv was an alcoholic, and she was bedridden, and that she overdosed on pills and booze. I never knew. Again, looks can be so deceiving; I was just a little girl when Aunt Viv was still of this earth, but I distinctly remember her having a flush of white hair, huge smile, cat eye glasses, wearing polka dots, and always having mints. She was so jovial in my memory. And Nanny, how about your mom? She died when she was so young, but mom told me that she, too, suffered from mental problems. She was raised by her grandmother, so what happened to her mom? Did she suffer too? Did she take her own life? Did you ever think about ending your life, Nan? What kept you here for 86 years? Is it the same thing that has somehow kept me here for 30 years? Hope?

I miss your red lipstick that you would apply with a q-tip, Ana

(Please Check Out Ana's Song of the Day... Top Right)

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