Leona, Pt. 3
Essentially a Grandmother
Ruth had never forgiven Paul. A farm boy, he had married a young woman from the city. He was a hard-worker, but did not join the union with his father and brothers. Nor did he choose to live on a parcel of the family land, as each of his six siblings would. Paul wanted something different for his new family. Perhaps she was insulted thinking he wanted better. Regardless of her motives, Ruth was a scornful woman, directing her disdain equally at her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.
I never understood Ruth’s contempt. I did not care where my parents were from. Where my father worked (and in what capacity) was of little consequence to me. I loved growing up in my town, why did it matter that I was 10 minutes farther away?
As a young boy, I only wanted to be loved in the simplest of terms. I wanted to see newspaper clippings with my name hanging on the refrigerator, to be greeted at the door with a hug and kiss and to laugh together playing games, but Ruth failed to make me feel like a grandchild: I needed to feel like I was the most important thing in the world, even if for only a short moment of time.
Leona gave me more than that: she made me feel like I was the most important thing in her world every moment, every time.