8.30.2002

This weekend I'm traveling to Minnesota to celebrate the 80th birthday of my last living grandparent, my maternal grandmother. She's been widowed for the past 14 years, and has played a quiet matriarch. She called together the clan for this party, and put strong leverage on her children and their children to attend - it's the most obvious demand of respect and attention she has ever made. As far as I know, it's the only one.
But I'm glad she's made it. Both branches of my family have a tradition of intense sibling conflict, and two of her boys (my uncles) have been at odds since before I was born. We all feel this contentious issue, but I, for one, would like to see some face-to-face, which has the greatest likelihood of relieving the tension.
I really admire her on this. Of all my grandparents, I'm least like her. I get my stubborn, headstrong nature from her deceased husband, self-doubt from my paternal grandmother and worry from my dad's dad. I respect her gentle nature and her subtle way of making suggestions. I'm hoping she will harness these traits to bring the clan together, finally. One of my uncles is a talented artist, and I'd very much like to meet him, but cannot arrange for this alone.

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