My grand father was wonderful to me. I know I am the only one who has happy memories and stories. I don’t want to know if there was any bad stuff. Yeah. I know he owned a speakeasy on Lake Street and his dad was a horse thief and his best friend served time in Alcatraz for train robbery. But my grandpa bought me beaded mocassins.
This really resonates with me. We have a good family, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins. We get together and laugh and play games and get along incredibly well. But then topics like politics, or gay rights or alcoholism pop ups and suddenly – your in a room on strangers. And not ones you would ever talk to again.
My dad worked hard his whole life to support his family, and always helps me out even in adulthood, but he’s so overbearingly sexist-patronizing my aunts won’t even acknowledge his existence since my mom died. He’s still my dad and I love him, but I also must acknowledge they’re not wrong…
I really enjoyed this comic. I have a similar situation. Often though it’s as simple as someone growing and maturing. I hope that’s what happened with the Grandfather… growing and maturing and changing.
Wow, beautiful and upsetting and so good! I feel like such a strange part of adulthood is finally seeing that some of the people you looked up to and loved the most are actually these complex and sometimes very dark people. Good for your dad for being self aware and not continuing the cycle! And I second Minty, more comics from Mari!!!
This comic does a great job illustrating the profound emotional upheaval that occurs upon discovering that the good memories you’ve always carried about someone you love were not in sync with what others remember. The feelings of confusion, discomfort, betrayal, and a sense of loss really come through in this piece and obviously resonate with others who’ve had similar experiences. Very impressive. Thanks for sharing this!
Touching and graphically impressive. Funny the way things work, we sometimes only get to see certain sides of people until we’re already emotionally invested. And it’s so much harder to change when it’s ‘family.’
Great personal story. I appreciated how her family members here reveal just enough about Mari’s grandfather, and it’s up to her grown up self to make sense of it all, and she presents it with some wonderful imagery. She reveals a man of dark contradictions who must have been many things, but who could also be a doting grandfather to a small child.
Ray: I am very glad my dad told me the truth, even though it made me sad, and I struggled so long with it. But finding out that people are flawed, even (especially) the ones you idealize, is a part of growing up. I still love my memories of him, but it took awhile for me to get here.
I think these things depend in large part on when you find out. I found out my grandfather had routinely beat up his wife and kids and raped his daughters when I was still a kid. (He’s also racist and homophobic but that hardly seems to matter after daughter-rape.) Learning that changed everything. There is no ambiguity for me: I started to see him solely as a monster. Every nice thing he ever did for me was re-cast as hypocritical and insincere — gifts from the devil. I started to wonder if he’d only been nice to me in hopes of sexually abusing me. I started to wonder if he HAD sexually abused me and I’d repressed or forgotten it somehow.
LOVE the comic, btw. Just felt the need to share that. 🙂
This comic does a great job of showing how our perspectives about people and life in general are so different when we are children – I especially love the grandfather’s visual transformation from man to dragon!
I loved my uncle when I was little – he was always fun and attentive to us kids – but years later found out that he was both a drunk and a womanizer who had actually hit on his own son’s wife.