February 09, 2004

After four airplanes in 48

After four airplanes in 48 hours,
I am grievously tired. I learned Friday evening that my grandmother had been
hospitalized in Tulsa due to an aneurysm. After arranging for my brother to pick
me up, I booked a flight out of here at 7 a.m. the next morning. She celebrated
her 80th birthday in December. I can hardly believe she is an octogenarian. She
was cracking jokes and teasing the medical staff when I walked in. Her mental
faculties are alive and kicking; her body just can't seem keep up the pace her
brain has set. She will possibly have a very serious surgery on Wednesday and
then will attempt an even more challenging recovery. I hate not being able to
stay longer. I really am struggling with living 1500 miles away and helping
people here who aren't my own family, but not being able to do a damn thing for
someone who made my terrible childhood bearable. I don't think we ever really
let go of the hope that things in this life "will be easier once..." I foolishly
have clung to the thought that life will be more accommodating once the children
are adults, but this weekend, I watched my grandfather exhaust himself with
concern for his friend of 61 years. Her lungs are frail and weak from 60+ years
of Marlboro's. After a year on her mother's own breastmilk, she spent 79 years
consuming vegetables from the backyard, beef from the barn of a neighbor, and
oil from a friend's field. Tofu never showed up on that kitchen table. A chicken
was stewed or fried. She married a good-looking Cajun who introduced her to
crayfish (that's crawfish down south), shrimp, and exotic new ways to stew the
yardbird. Though I know you won't read this, I love you, Wilma. I could never
return the kindness that I experienced in your home or thank you enough for the
place you made in your heart for a me. Thank you for showing me the magic of a
grandmother's love; the example of hospitality; how to take care of the elderly
and lonely; neighborliness; and that it's not how much I have, but how much I
give of what I do have.

Posted by Rae at February 9, 2004 10:11 PM

I am so sorry. I am praying for you and for her.
Miss you,

Posted by: K at March 19, 2005 12:14 PM

Oh, Rae. I hope that she recovers quickly and that you're able to make more memories with her.

Posted by: Natalie at March 19, 2005 12:15 PM

Thanks, guys.

Posted by: Rae at March 19, 2005 12:16 PM

she sounds like my gram sending gentle thoughts for you and yours

Posted by: Madpoet at March 19, 2005 12:16 PM
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