(grand)daddy issues
(grand)daddy issues family stories

apexpredatorpoetic injustice.
Autoplay OFF  •  a year ago
two of my grandfathers died in may. thank you for reading.

(grand)daddy issues

by apexpredator


when i was conceived

i had three

my father's father, my mother's father, and my mother's step-father

i loved them all

before i was born


may. my father stood by as the doctors took him off life support and my grandmother cried but she knew that's what he wanted

my mother's stomach

hadn't yet swelled


when i was born


mother's father, mother's step-father


mother's father was always pawpaw to me

he used my full name

after people shortened my name he kept it long

it rolled right off his tongue

mary catherine came tumbling out even when i was just mary to everyone else

it's mary now

when he remembers my name, it's just mary


most of the time, i'm my mother to him

we leave

we exit the V.A. in silence. my mother is crying. my mother never cries.


my mother's step-father was granddaddy


tall, with a cane and glasses. he always read mysteries

i remember

he wouldn't read dean koontz. it's too late to ask why


he had a nickname for everyone. that's what they said at the funeral

i don't recall him ever nicknaming me

just mary

the funeral was long

long and tedious and uncomfortable

open casket

the corpse wasn't him. didn't look like him.

i did not cry

why couldn't i cry?

i miss him so much but i can't cry

my mother's step-sisters did

the same ones who bullied my mother growing up

he did too

made her feel like a stranger in her own home

it still hurts her now

she forgave him, but she didn't forget


he doesn't remember me well. or he doesn't say it.

pawpaw doesn't react

we take him outside and we talk and he's there and we love him but he doesn't know


god gave me three grandfathers


one who died without me knowing what to call him. one who died without me knowing how to connect with him. one who lives, and doesn't know me at all.

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