July 10, 2006


Detoured over a couple counties due to a late night call, other grandma, not the one I visited, the other one, now hospitalized again with a litany of awful symptoms. They said "it's not life threatening" but most anything can kill you at 87 as far as I am concerned, so I dropped in and surprised her. She was on a morphine drip and didn't have her teeth in and cried when she saw me. I laid in her bed with her and we watched the last 139 laps of a Nascar race on the wall mounted TV and we rooted for her favorite, Jeff Gordon, who won. When they would show certain racers, she would mention if she thought they were cute or if they came from a race family; we are a race family, so she keeps up on these things, lucid and proud despite her dementia. Once the race was off and we gave her teeth back, she got awnry as sin. She insisted there was a dog hair in her dentures and that we didn't care. She insisted I had come to visit because she is about to die. "If I thought you were about to die, don't you think I would at least stay overnight, Nana?" she snapped me with her plastic comb for that. She lectured us for about 20 minutes about her funeral arrangements, why were we all hanging around in her hospital room, calling upon her if she isn't about to kick the bucket, hmmm, why would they give her any EKG if they weren't checking to see if she is about to die? She filled us in on the color, type and arrangement of her flowers, even though we know and even though I told her to shut it. She has said she wants to be buried in a rose colored night gown. Today, her request turned to "a pink negligee"--though I think she means nighgown still, rather than a silky snap crotch teddy or the like. When I told her I had to leave and she gave me one last bit of oblique, narcotized advice: "I will tell you one thing," she said, pointing with her comb "you can't fight death. It'll come and get you. You can get hit by a truck and die from a broken leg, or you can die tomorrow, like me, in this hospital bed: when you go--you go! No two ways about it." I told her that in this modern age people rarely die of broken legs anymore, and that she is way too rascally to die in the next 24. She scowled at me and whacked me with her comb and laughed.

Posted by Jessica at July 10, 2006 03:14 AM | TrackBack