Conversation With Grandmother
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13-01-2013, 07:40 PM (This post was last modified: 13-01-2013 07:43 PM by Misanthropik.)
Conversation With Grandmother
Since my grandfather died, everyone in the family has been spending more time with my grandmother; just to try to keep her mind busy with things so she doesn't sit at home and cry all day (she seems to save that for the night-time hours, though). My schedual affords me more free time than other family members, so I have ended up spending the most time with her. As I expected, she dove headlong into the church for support, and as a result of being the one to drop by to visit the most; I've been hearing a lot of religious talk from her. She likes to emphasize that my grandfather is going to be in the "New System", perhaps to make sure that I'm aware of this "fact" - perhaps to make sure that she is aware of it. Either way, when faith gets brought into the conversation, I just nod my head and bite my tongue.

Well today, I decided I wasn't going to do that for one particular conversation. Not because I want to damage her beliefs; I actually don't. At her age, and given her circumstances, intentionally attacking her beliefs - ridiculous though they may be - would be more cruel than helpful. But today she made it personal by directly pointing out my lack of belief and arguing against it, which gave me the option of defending my position - an option I decided to take.

She mentioned that she needed to make a trip to Costco, so I offered to tag along to do the heavy lifting. While we were on the way there, she began her usual habit of rambling on about this and that; occasionally venturing into emotionally-sensitive territory which, as of late, is my cue to tactfully change the subject and prevent what could become a fit of sobbing. At one point, I turned the conversation toward recent events like the economy. Following suit, she began to rant about high milk prices (a price increase of a dollar is like the holocaust to her) and how she never expected to have to pay $5 for milk. I didn't really care, but so as to humor her, I shook my head and said "It's all going to shit." I should have predicted this (and I knew immediately what I'd done), but my words provided her an opportunity to school me on the "end of days". She assured me that high milk prices and a tanking economy were signs that Jehovah's day of judgment is near. She concluded her reprimand with "Whether or not you believe it anymore, rest assured, it is coming."

So, whether or not it was needed, I decided to give a defense of my position. I explained to her the numerous times throughout history when the "end" was supposed to have come; only to pass without incident. I even called upon a few mental notes taken from Seth's recent podcast about the end of the world regarding doomsday prophecies I was never aware of. I explained how "critical times; hard to deal with" have pervaded Mankind since the begining of recorded time and before, and that in the grand scheme of things, current events - adverse or otherwise - are nothing new or unique. I would have gone on to point out the failed prophecies of the Witnesses themselves, but in the interest of not attacking her personal religious construct directly, I refrained.

Ultimately, I gave what I think was a decent argument, but she reacted precisely as one can expect a child-like religious individual to react. She basically told me that her beliefs are different; that her beliefs are true as though by default; and that I'll see the truth one day. Since our conversation, she has surely reinforced her beliefs in her own mind. I have no doubt that she will adhere to these beliefs until the day she dies. It's not something I'm really all that worried about.


On a much lighter note, she did inform me that a member of her congregation has been announced as "no longer one of Jehovah's witnesses". Not simply disfellowshipped, but no longer a witness at all. I was quite excited by this news, because this individual works at the GNC where I used to get all my protein and vitamins, and he and I were really tight friends for a while. When I began to identify as an atheist, I lessened my visits until I eventually stopped going to that particular GNC altogether. I was worried that my lack of belief would somehow be revealed in conversation and, in true Witness form, he would have severed ties with me. But now, I don't know if he has lost faith or has chosen another spiritual path, but it's sure that he's no longer a witness, which means it's worth paying him a visit once more. Big Grin

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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13-01-2013, 07:59 PM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
Sorry for the anti-climax, by the way. I was gonna add a high-octane car chase that ended in an explosion, but I wasn't sure it'd be believable. Undecided

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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13-01-2013, 08:38 PM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
You are a nice guy. You know that you are going to be uncomfortable yet you are doing some of the things she needs right now. Not being alone and help getting through day to day life. You are a good grandson. Thumbsup Heart

Religious debates aren't what she needs and you recognize and respect that.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude.
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13-01-2013, 08:39 PM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
Honestly, I've enjoyed your stories thus far. You write well, and seem to be gracefully handling some tough situations.

Drinking Beverage Grab a cuppa' joe; sit-n-read my blog for a spell: www.vaweber.wordpress.com
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13-01-2013, 10:23 PM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
This sounds awesome all around. Good for you, you have grace in your relationships which is refreshing to see. please keep sharing, too!
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14-01-2013, 01:16 AM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
What everyone else said!


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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14-01-2013, 01:56 AM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
You sir, must have the patience of a saint, if you'll excuse the expression.

I would not have been able to constrain myself or be tactful in your position.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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14-01-2013, 08:41 AM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
(14-01-2013 01:56 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  You sir, must have the patience of a saint, if you'll excuse the expression.

I would not have been able to constrain myself or be tactful in your position.
Eh, she's been like this all my life. I'm fairly used to it.

I say she's "like a child" a lot, but it bears stressing how true that really is. Everything needs to be explained to her - even things your average adult would understand automatically - and she basically needs to be held by the hand (figuratively speaking) and guided through things. It's really no wonder why she adheres so readily to religious thinking. It's like a teddy bear who listens to her problems and provides support.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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14-01-2013, 09:01 AM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
I can imagine the frustration.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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14-01-2013, 10:50 AM
RE: Conversation With Grandmother
(14-01-2013 08:41 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  
(14-01-2013 01:56 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  You sir, must have the patience of a saint, if you'll excuse the expression.

I would not have been able to constrain myself or be tactful in your position.
Eh, she's been like this all my life. I'm fairly used to it.

I say she's "like a child" a lot, but it bears stressing how true that really is. Everything needs to be explained to her - even things your average adult would understand automatically - and she basically needs to be held by the hand (figuratively speaking) and guided through things. It's really no wonder why she adheres so readily to religious thinking. It's like a teddy bear who listens to her problems and provides support.
See, you're a good person....I just lack any patience in that regard and constantly have to edit myself. Don't misunderstand I adore my MIL (she's 75) but when we shop -- Oh my she just drives me crazy. I like to take my time and see/decide what I need. While she races through. Then she'll peek into my basket and say, "Oh I didn't see those -- Be a dear and run over and get some for me." It's gotten to a point where I just hand her stuff out of our basket and say I'll come back a day or two later....(without her -- hopefully)


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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