My maternal great grandmother died when she was 88. Her daughter, my grandmother Rose, was hysterical at the funeral and practically threw herself into the coffin, I swear. Grandma Rose loved her mother in a way I’ve never seen a daughter love a mother since. When great grandma had a stroke at 85, grandma put her in a nursing home near her apartment in Hartford, CT, and visited her every single day for a few hours. She also made my grandpa, Sam, go with her a couple of times a week.
I don’t know what created their intense bond, and I’m not sure it was enviable. I’m also not sure I’d be so pleased if my daughter loved me like that. It seems to me that it’s more natural for a grown daughter to focus love such as this on someone other than her mother. Interestingly, my mother didn’t love Rose the way Rose loved her mother. As a matter of fact, my mother and grandmother bickered most every time they were together.
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I’ve often wondered about these intense mother-daughter bonds, as I did not experience that with my mother, either. I have noticed they rarely pass down to the next generation. But they are real, and also exist between mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, fathers and sons.