I recently received a review of Better in the Morning from Brianna Remus Books (you can check it out here & while you’re there, have a look around her awesome site and be sure to follow her if you’re a book lover!).
It made my day but I was struck by one particular line – “[Veronica’s] relationship [with her grandparents] added a heartfelt aspect to the novel that left me feeling envious.”
What I mean is, I get it. I did not have with my grandparents the kind of relationship that Veronica has with her grandparents. Not while they were alive, at least.
I knew they loved my brother and me in an intense way, the way all families do. I knew they loved to tell stories and we loved listening to them. My brother and I used to ask them a million questions. “What was your house like growing up?” “What did you eat?” “What did you do for fun?” “What were holidays like?”
But, they were also from a different generation and used to, I have to be really honest here, get on my nerves at times. For example, my grandmother once stated that the age of 30 was “over the hill” and the prospects of marriage were pretty much hopeless after that. “Are you kidding me? Did you really just say that?” I responded.
Here was another gem after my ex and I had only been broken up for a few months – months, I repeat – “He’s probably married to someone else by now.” My grandmother shrugged.
I had to throw up my hands. Again, was she kidding me?
She was not kidding. In her day, he likely would have been. But “her day” was an extremely long time ago, I pointed out.
So, yes, at times, I did talk to them openly in the way Veronica talks to Sal and Ant.
But, for the most part, I didn’t fill them in regularly about my daily life and they didn’t impart their wisdom.
It just wasn’t like that.
But, now, it is.
I know it is. I feel closer to them than I ever felt while they were alive. I know they just want me to be happy, like any loving grandparent, but they no longer carry any of the earthly baggage that held them down before, like judgments or criticisms or pre-conceived notions.
It’s easy to envy Veronica’s close relationship with her grandparents but we can all have that kind relationship with any of our loved ones who are now on the other side. And we often do.
There’s a reason it always seems better in the morning.