5.09.2011

Well I'll Be Damned

Jake and his best friend grampa
 That's something my grandfather used to say when he was surprised.  He's been on my mind a lot lately. He can't remember me anymore, which is a tough pill to swallow because he raised me. So even though he's technically my grandfather by blood, he's really my dad. He's the one who showed up for my violin recitals and art shows and track and soccer and volleyball and whatever other sporting events. He's the one who came to all of my graduations and encouraged me to write and draw.

I don't know if you have ever been forgotten by someone you love in the literal sense, but it's awful. I have a hard time with it and I'm not quite sure I've let myself fully come to accept the fact that my grampa, my dad, is no longer accessible to me. He's lost in mixes of memories and reality and trying his best to make sense of his days. I don't get to see him often and each time he seems further and further gone.

So what does this have to do with art and Lynn?

Well, this weekend on Mother's Day I cleaned my garage. I needed more space at the house. I've started moving things out of my closet space at the gallery that don't need to be there, but aren't ready for the landfills. What I found in my garage and closet was a ton of old art supplies, half made projects, tests, and something I had forgotten about: me.

I had forgotten me,  just like my grandfather.

I was so gung-ho about trying to build the arts community here that I disregarded the personal consequences of lost time and lost pay and lost sight of my personal needs. I have, for the past number of years, put myself aside so many times, that I literally lost sight of my own value, strengths and worth.

Over the past few months, those closest to me have noticed my head spinning around with smoke coming out of my ears as I have been trying to figure out how to piece together a future in which my life is more balanced and that I am taking care of myself and family through my work, not taking care of work at the expense of my family.

This morning I met with someone who wanted to help me figure out the next stage of the gallery. He asked me, "What do you want?". Well, what do any of us want from our work efforts? We want to be challenged, to have space to grow, to make a difference, to make a living, to be taken seriously, and most of all, to be appreciated for our contributions, and for our contributions to not be forgotten.

That's what I want, for me, from the gallery. 

My grandfather might not remember me, but I remember my times with him. I remember a Class A 600yd race that I ran at the Harvard indoor track.  I went over to see him one last time before my race, before I went over in the far corner of the track to stretch, and he said to me, "Don't worry about anyone else,  just take care of yourself." I didn't worry about the long legged girl from Brockton or anyone else on the track. I just ran my own race. I ran my fastest time ever by about two seconds.

And the other girls in the race ran faster too.

In remembering me, and remembering what parts of me are results of the lessons my grampa taught me, I can hear him calling out, "GO JOCIE," as I raced by him. And I can hear him imparting his Swamp Yankee wisdom during one of our many car rides home after my races, "You just have to give 'em hell Jocelyn. You have to run your own race."

Well I'll be damned.

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous9.5.11

    ;-))) love that...(tears) that is just beautiful....and that's all we can do Jocie...is remember him! and all our times good and bad! and,'give em hell!!'love u my beautiful cousin!!! xoxoxo Ianthe

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  2. I love you too, very much. I will see you soon.xoxoxo

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  3. Jane Coder10.5.11

    NIce remembrance and philosophy, Jocelyn. My mother said that it was a terrible feeling that near the end of her life, her mother said to her, "Now what relationship are you to me?" It is not only sad, it's scary and often makes us lose our footing in life. You are such a thoughtful and open-hearted person and artist that I know you will make a strong path for yourself as you have done as long as I've known you - since I met you at Donna's salon.

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  4. Thank you Jane! I'm looking forward to new horizons! Very glad to have you be a part of everything, and thank you for introducing me to your amazing daughter!

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  5. Jocelyn, I'm sorry your Dad/Grandpa is slowly slipping away. But you were so lucky to have a guardian to watch you grow up, step by step. Because he was so devoted to you , he will live on through you, forever.

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