Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Visions of My Grandmother

Writing has been very hard lately.  With classes, teaching, and working in West Hollywood, I often find myself wanting to lay on the couch more than read a book or write a blog post.  However, I am continually honored to be a part of the Feminism and Religion Project and I hope you enjoy my post this month.

I haven’t dreamt of my grandmother since her passing one hot summer July evening.

The night, and the days that followed, continue to be a blur.  However, as my family members continue to see her in their nightly visions, I, go on unabatedly longing to see and hear the voice of a woman who made me feel the presence of the divine with each passing story. 

My sister saw her in a dream when she was buying shoes, my mother has seen her multiple times when she would be undergoing a particularly stressful situation, and I, left alone and oftentimes wondering through an abyss of loneliness and disarray, wake up each morning wondering why, I am left all alone.

We often question the divine, his/her intentions, and specifically whether or not we will ever see resemblances of those long gone in our daily lives, but I’m here to ask and ponder whether or not my inability to see my grandmother has to do with the fact that she was the one person I was not honest to during her lifetime.    

I never told my grandmother I was gay.  I’ve often wanted to visit her grave, clench my hands together, and pray that she forgive me for betraying the trust she instilled upon me long ago.  However, even today, I cannot bring myself to make that trek, up the hill into the countryside where her ashes lay below the ground.

Yes, my grandmother would meet the boys I was dating and yes, I would talk about my life in a way that it would be obvious to anyone else that I was gay, but I never uttered the words, “Gladys, I’m gay” to her.  I could handle rejection from my parents, I could face the dismissal from certain family members, but her rejection, the rejection of my hero and best friend, was one thing I was not willing to face.

The only time she ever entered into my dreams was a year ago when I found myself entering her house and seeing her sitting in her chair with its back turned towards me.  I called her name, I kept questioning whether or not she had heard me (she was always hard of hearing), and the more I called out her name the more she just sat there, in her chair, silent, and unable to  turn around and look at me.  

How does one who doesn’t really believe in the divine pray?  How do we manage the complex emotions that we feel when loss and heartache overcome our power in faith?   More importantly, who, when we are unable to deal with the guilt and pain we have inside, do we agnostics pray to? 

I’ve never really pray, but when I do I pray to my grandmother.  I do not pray to a God or Goddess that I do not know exists or not, but rather an entity who I hope still watches over me. 

However, like with many of the prayers that we cast into the unknown, I too find myself on the same boat, hoping that one day, my divine grandmother will forgive me of my sins and welcome me back into her loving arms.

I look forward to finally walking into her house in my dreams and seeing her warm smile greet me at the door but until then, I’ll continue to sit here and pray.