Behind Her Glasses

As much as she loved me, it was only the child I was that she loved. The adult that I had become had become a stranger and someone she did not recognize. Every visit since my move to California, felt more distant than the last and it was all in the way she would look at me. Not with love and pride, like she used to, but with hurt and reticence. She kept her feelings deep inside, hidden behind her eye glasses. But she would gander once in a while as quick as a flash like a ricochet off the gold of her rims. A moment revealed, too fast to hold onto, too quick to reflect on. So momentary and easily distracted by something else, a noise, a smell, a touch, or a laughter.

But I remember now those strange looks that I would get as I catch her watching me. The way she would inspect me, long for me, but too reserved to call on me. Afraid of me. But those feelings she kept well hidden behind those glasses that she seldom took off. A window to see through but impossible to get through. The glass wall that separates the memories and the then present, she wore it over her eyes, protecting herself or maybe protecting me. The way she quickly looked away when I tried to hold her gaze. This is one of the things I remember about my shy distant grandmother, hiding behind her glasses.

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