Recently I learned that I am most like my great grandmother, Fannie. She was a free spirit like me. That is comforting all by itself. It’s comforting mostly because it is difficult to be so different from everyone else. Even when you try to fit in, it goes horribly wrong in some way. I don’t mind being different from everyone else, it allows me to see things from a different view than anyone else. There’s a certain freedom and joy in that. It is a lonely existence though. Fannie has been there for me when I would have otherwise given up on who I am – trying to bend myself in pretzel shape to be accepted by others. That never really works you know, we always end up being who we really are inside.
I cannot imagine what Fannie’s life was like, difficult given her temperament, more difficult because of the time she lived and even more difficult because of where she lived. Her husband loved her because she was a free spirit. It was easy for her to let him be who he was and he loved that about her too. I don’t know if he was a free spirit, but I know that he bucked the system in every imaginable way. From the kind of job he had all the way down to what religion he chose to follow. After her death, his freedom was not as great and he ended up conforming to society for the most part. That’s another story and I don’t really know it well.
Fannie died of consumption at a relatively young age, leaving her children and husband. It’s possible she did give up. The time and place she lived would have been most difficult for a free spirit. I am fortunate to have her around me to encourage and pull me back when I am ready to throw in the towel. Funny thing is I find myself at a precipice now, I have been given a choice to continue or stop. I don’t know why I’ve been given this choice. Open or close. Closing leads to darkness and a need to repeat, opening flings the doors and windows wide open lets in the sun, blue skies, growth and love. The choice is obvious, of course. I will open, flinging doors and windows wide to walk through. Maybe as I continue, I will be able (or allowed) to help others open as well.
I am also beginning to understand why I am so sad for a friend who is in the process of losing her long time love and husband. I have not seen any couple as well suited for each other. It pains me deeply to see what that loss will bring.