November 17, 2004


Today was bumpy.

I went to sleep at 4:30. I stay up to work and to be there if Nana needs anything. Woke up at 9 to my mom suggesting that I get up because Nana was not so good today. Mom left. I made tea and went out on the porch and sat with my sis and Nana. Five minutes later, Nana was almost passing out, had the chills, etc. We barely got her into the bed -- she fell fast asleep, her hand gripped on my fingers. We called mom. Mom panicked and called an ambulance. Mom and I stood in the driveway crying. What if. What if.

The EMTs came in with their defibrilator and the gurney.
They kept calling her Zelma and talking to her in the overly loud voice that official people use on the aged and touching her with their purple latex gloves. ZELMA DO YOU WANT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL? She woke up only to tell them "No, I am fine thank you." WE'RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR BLOODPRESSURE OK ZELMA. It's Zola, I tell them. Her blood pressure is fine, she is asleep, sawing logs, minutes later.
The EMT suggest that it is a cold.
I know it is not a cold and I want them and their loud talking out of my Nana's room.

We know it is not a cold. Actually, the doctor thinks it is cancer. They just cannot find it. All the symptoms. I think of this, and the other prognosis' as useless specificity. Simply, she is going, and we must get ready for her going. I do not need the name of what is taking her, I just need to be with her, get her some Sprite and a pink bendy straw.

After the scare, after the EMT visit which she does not remember, after the nap where I took out her teeth to squirrel away and wash them, she became very funny. Like haha funny. She woke up and yelled " Alright! Who stole my teeth?!", she told a rather tawdry joke, snapping on everyone in her flat, dry sense of humor. While my sister and I dressed her, she requested we get her a bra with "some uplift" - to make us laugh.

After her nap, I told her I had spoken to JR and he said to say hello and is thinking of her. Nana has has a crush on JR ever since they met at my sister's graduation. "Oh, JR, he is so handsome. Tell him I say hello." I tell my sister that Nana has a crush on JR. "We have so much in common. Basketball. Baseball. He is so sweet." She asked whether he has a girlfriend. He's single, I say. I suggest that maybe he's a little young for her, and she asked me if maybe he is open to an adult adoption, that she would settle for just being his extra mom, so they could just hang out and talk sports. She says she is sure he will have no problem finding a girlfriend though. "Ooh... JR" she sighs.

Even though she is funny, and joking, she is not getting better, and so we will all stay. More family arrives tomorrow, and they will stay too. And we will all get ready with her.

Right now she is playing show and tell, passing around photos of her orchids, her birthdays, photos from before she was married to my grandpa, when she was the age I am now. She was a coal-haired war widow in small town Southern Indiana. She worked at the phone company and drove a car she bought herself, with white wall tires. She said she never had a manicure until she was 83. "I spent every day working behind the meat counter, I spent 70 years with my hands in dishwater, it woulda done me no good."

Posted by Jessica at November 17, 2004 11:13 PM | TrackBack