Dare to Tell – Ellen’s Story – Day 6
Across the Road
I only remember my grandmother visiting us the one time.
I suppose in those days it was just too far.
My father’s mother, she had moved away years and years before when she remarried and my father was just a boy.
The family had all moved away; each brother in a different country, rarely meeting up. My grandmother was now living with her daughter. She came to visit for about a week.
I don’t remember exactly how old I was.
But I remember that she cried all the time.
She cried about her children. Her son who kept getting into trouble, she cried with worry for him. And the others that were so far away, she had nothing without her children. They were all gone.
She said that she was happy to see us, to get to spend some time with us, to get to know us. And she had a sadness in her that felt deeper than anything I had even known. It felt like a deep, dark well that I could fall into; it felt like it would swallow me up.
I knew she was leaving that day.
I was on my way home from school.
I walked along the road towards my house and from far away I could see the car outside our front door.
I was on the opposite side, across the road.
I saw her sitting in the front seat. She had her head slightly bowed like she was looking at something in her lap. And then I saw her head lift up slightly as she looked out of the window of the car.
When I went into the house, they said that grandma had just left. You must have seen her outside, did you? You said goodbye, didn’t you?
They looked confused when I said that I had missed her; that they must have driven away before I arrived. There was no one outside, across the road.
To this day, I don’t know if she saw me, I don’t think she did.
But I saw her across the road, and I never saw her again.