As you may or may not know, WordPress publishes a one word prompt that bloggers can respond to. Since I have the time, I thought “Why not participate in this thing sometimes?”. I couldn’t come up with a reason not to, so here we are.
Melanie hated visiting. The hours dragged by so slowly. It was only three hours, only six half-hours, only 180 minutes, only 10,800 seconds.
It would have been easier if Grandma wasn’t still herself. Then she might forget everything about Melanie that she hated. If Grandma could just forget for one of those 180 minutes that she hated Melanie, they might actually have a pleasant visit.
If you lacked the ability to perceive age based on physical features, you would think that Melanie was the senior. She sat slumped on the couch, her current knitting project in her lap. Grandma hated knitting. She swore that she never would again, and she swore it anew every single time Melanie came to visit. Grandma’s hands were still perfectly capable, the way her body was still capable of maintaining proper posture, and her eyes were still capable of conveying disdain with a simple flash.
Jane looked back and forth between her mother and daughter. They had never gotten along. Jane had taught Melanie to knit in the hopes that the two would bond, but the moment that Melanie picked up the needles, Sarah dropped them. Jane was used to losing in life, but somehow this blow was one she never recovered from. This firmly demonstrated rejection of her only child, and all that she was and ever might become, was what had made Jane make up her mind about Sarah.
Every year, Jane wrote exactly one word of advice in Melanie’s birthday cards. She repeated this word when they would make their biweekly visits to Sarah in her assisted living community. She said it when she needed to remind Melanie to be her own person, no matter who might disapprove. Running for class office, applying to colleges, asking someone out, shopping for clothes, choosing dinner- all were given the same response.
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