Thanks again for not shooting my grandma

On apologies and dependency

One time, my grandma told me that when she was a little kid, she used to like to swing on a tire attached by a rope to a tree. One day, she decided to pass time by swinging on her tire swing and she let her face flow through the wind. When she swung forward, her face would move forward taking in all the air. When she swung backward, she would bury her face into her legs, letting the air pass over her back.

One day after the war, her uncle decided to come visit. He brought the gun that he got during the war and polished it while showing it off to my grandma’s brothers and her dad. He wasn’t paying attention to where the gun was pointing.

My grandma continued to swing high and low, high and low. Showing her face in the wind, burying it when she went low.

And then the gun fired.

She felt a blow of air on her back, but she kept swinging high and low. Without a scratch.

And in tears, her uncle came over to give her a hug. He apologized and loved on her for what seemed like forever in a child’s mind.

“I can’t believe I almost took you out. I’m so sorry,” he cried.

“For what?” she asked.

My point is, thank you, Uncle James, for not purposely trying to shoot my grandma. You’ve apologized for more than sixty years. And she forgives you, and I forgive you. And I’m sure God forgives you. Just don’t play around like that anymore, don’t you see how many wonderful grandkids Jewell has now? Also, rest in peace.

I depend on my mom and my grandmother for everything. Food, conversations about nothing, whether or not what I’m wearing “makes sense.” I like this small network of go-to family, and it’s easy to hang up with one member of the network and call the next member without really thinking about it. Because sometimes you need someone to just sit on the phone and listen to you breathe.

But I hate being dependent on people. Even my own family at times. I allow them to dictate my opinions and thoughts at times where I’d rather be the “special snowflake.” I think I have a great idea until I tell one of them and it doesn’t sound like a great idea anymore. They can be the ultimate chopping block when I need it and when I don’t.

I get so grossed out by other people that are so dependent of each other. When my friends won’t answer this or that questions without their sister’s input, or when they wait days to give me a yes or no answer because they want to see what their boyfriend will say first. I don’t like waiting. It drives me nuts. But I hold myself to the exact same standard. I won’t answer an email until I know exactly what I want to say (I just got over sending emails without quadruple checking).

Maybe it’s who they’re asking that I have the problem with. Somehow I feel saying “let me check with my mom first” doesn’t seem childish at my age. Sometimes it’s an excuse to get out of doing things I never wanted to do in the first place. Most of the time, I would rather be alone than have to deal with the idea of depending on another to make decisions for me. I’d rather not decide at all. I can find a way to chalk it up to being a introvert and a homebody most of the time, and that’s all the reason I need.

I’m getting older and I’m going to have to start making decisions by myself. I actually have to become my own chopping block, and that’s scary. The thought of it makes me ache in places that hurt a whole lot.

I spent a couple of days a few months ago with a person that wouldn’t decide anything at all. It was all “up to me.” It was infuriating. And I blamed them for being bad at what they do and for being unprepared, when really I wanted them to decide everything because “I’d rather not decide at all.” I’m still the dependent baby I hate being around, whether I like it or not. And I really don’t feel bad about it, and probably won’t until it’s time for me to move far away from my personal chopping block.

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