Lotus is named after my grandmother. My father's mother.
I adored her. I looked up to her--even though by the time I was 14 I was taller than her. When I spoke of my grandmother, I meant her.
But I met both of my grandmothers. I met my mother's mother. She taught me how to bless the candles on Friday nights. She put dots of honey on my fingers and after I said some of the words right I would lick my fingers. She would read Torah stories to me. I remember her scent.
Grandma G. passed when I was around 7. I remember the funeral vividly. I remember my mother ripping a black ribbon as it was pinned to her suit. I remember that so well that when I was at my own mother's funeral, I flashed back to that day and broke down. It became real then.
But this isn't about my mom--or not really.
I came across a cache of pictures of my mother's parents. I never met my maternal grandfather, he died before I was born. My then 42 year old mother thought that her missed periods and nausea was extended mourning. She went to the doctor and was declared 4 months pregnant.
There are several pictures of me with my grandmother. But the picture that stopped me cold was a picture of both of my maternal grandparents--taken not long before my grandfather's death. In it my grandfather is smiling adoringly at my grandmother and she has--an almost shy smile on. It's the smile of a woman who loves the man she is with. It is a beautiful picture of two people very much in love.
I realized that while I had met my maternal grandmother--I didn't know her. Not because I was a child, but because so much of her died with my grandfather. This woman, with the shy, loving smile, this was my grandmother. The one my mother wept for. The one my mother knew.
Lotus met my mother but knew her less than a year. Afterwards my father had a lady friend who slipped effortlessly into the role and Lotus loves her. She knows and loves my father. He is Papa. He can't count. Every time he asks Lotus to give him three kisses he counts "one, one, one, one" He makes her giggle.
Today, I was looking through more pictures and I saw a picture of my father smiling so broadly with my mother in his arms smiling back. This is a lovely picture. I sucked in my breath as I realized I was staring at my real father. The complete one, the one with my mom at his side. No matter how long my father lives, Lotus will never know this man. My father, when he was complete.