Grandma Lucy

Brother Joe came over last night with dinner (Panda Express) and we started reminiscing with Brenda about Grandma Lucy. Joe told how Grandma used to wake him up in the middle of the night and drag him to her room to look at the “spiders” on the ceiling. I know that Dad and Aunt Betty went to Ok in 1977 when neighbors called to express concern for Lucy’s welfare. Even when I met up with her after my trip to Spain she was still delusional. I don’t think she was ever treated for what was obviously a mental illness.

Questions I’d like to ask Dad or Mom. Oh well.

Grandma’s behavior was so divisive to Mom and Dad that they placed her in small group home. Visiting her was torture. She was incoherent when first seen but was able to focus as the conversation developed. How do you converse with a mad woman? Not only was she insane but very angry: mean-spirited. She refused to go to her son’s wedding. She gleefully told us that Betty stopped going to Church during Grandpa’s baptism dinner. She barely tolerated Grandma DeMillo and she did her utmost in getting me “saved” in a Baptist church. And yet, as a kid, I found her funny, playful and less scary than Grandpa Felix who was a zombie. Although he did come alive in blasting Richard Nixon and watching “women wrasslers.”

According to Aunt Betty, Grandpa spent time in the Arizona State Hospital, broke Grandma’s arm in a rage and had an issue with alcohol. Dad was truly upset when I asked him about this. I mean, TRUELY!

Lucy and Felix were cousins from Arkansas. Felix was in WW1 which may account for some untreated PTSD. Perhaps he was bipolar. Lucy was untreated delusional disorder and maybe borderline. It’s no wonder that I and some of my siblings wrestle with some form of mental illness. I’m getting treatment; but mental illness is still a stigma among my siblings. Pity.

In the end, if I asked Mom and Dad what they experienced, they’d probably deny or minimize the problems of Grandma Lucy. I loved her. she was a hardy pilgrim. But oh, was she nasty.


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