Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Grandma

My Grandma is dying. She had a massive stroke a few weeks ago and has been in decline since then. She is on morphine for the pain, and the feeding tube was removed yesterday. I'm welling up just writing these words.

She turned 93 last month, so I console myself with the fact that she has had a long life. Filled with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, loving husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She has seen it all. But I will miss her.

I try to trick myself into thinking that in most ways she is already gone because she has not really been conscious since her stroke 3 weeks ago. I went to see her in the hospital and it was sad, scary and grim. I knew when I looked into her face that what I saw was a person who was dying, barely the grandma that I use to cuddle in bed with when I was small.

I know I am lucky. I had a grandma for 43 years which is a long, long time. I always like to think that the grandchild role is a special one. I was the first grandaughter.

My Mother, who is insane, is making this all about her which is creating an unwelcomed distraction. I am dreading having to deal with her over the next few weeks.

I regret not being able to give my grandma another great grandchild. I also feel guilty knowing that the genetic connection ends with me. I will not be passing along the long line that my grandma represented.

The picture up above was taken when my grandmother was thirteen, full of promise and life. I like this image, it is one of hope and optimism.

The day before her stroke she went to the beauty parlor (for the last time). It was a great pleasure that she never gave up on. Her white hair was cut and fluffed and her nails freshly manicured in pearlized baby pink.

This picture was taken infront of her apartment building, the building she lived in until the day she went to the hospital 3 weeks ago. She moved in when the building opened in 1942.

It gives me great comfort to know that she still cared to look her best. At 93 she still managed to put on her lipstick and draw on her eyebrows before she went out in public.

This is the grandma I will always remember.

8 comments:

Summer said...

I'm so sorry.

Dramalish said...

Jade.
I lost my grandmother 2 1/2 years ago under very similar circumstances. In fact, a lot of things about this post ring true for me: a crazy mother, a special bond with grandmother, the beauty parlor, drawing on eyebrows, etc.

I'm sorry for your loss.
-D.

m said...

Jade, so sorry to hear your news.

peep said...

I'm so sorry about your grandma. She is beautiful. Even though she's had a long and good life it doesn't make losing her any easier. I'll be thinking of you.

calliope said...

I am so so behind on reading, but I was incredibly sad to read this post.

I am thinking of you & sending love.
xo

Ernesto Schutz said...

Gee, I'm so sorry, but She always will live in you heart.

Dagny said...

I'm so sorry.

I just lost my 99 year old grandmother this year. I am glad you have such wonderful pictures and memories of her.

xoxo

Anonymous said...

Remember "When Harry Met Sally?" Remember Sally's girlfriend who was having the affair with the married man say "I don't believe he's going to ever leave his wife" and Sally says "no one believes he'll leave his wife." You just want to smack her friend - GET A CLUE!

B* DOES NOT want to have a child with you - that much you MUST know by now. That much SHOULD BE patently clear. That much he's too much of a coward to say but his actions are crystal.

YOU, however, have had the power to fulfill yourself ALL ALONG. Yet you can't seem to do it. Either B* does it for you or you wind up miserable.

WTF is up with that?! Are you nuts? Are you aware of your age, your single status, your age (yeah, it bears repeating!!!).

Life is moving right along. You gonna be more ready next year or the one after that? B* going to respond to your thinly veiled threats to leave him?! HA! Hardly. You see, like Sally's girlfriend's lover, B* knows full well that you won't leave him and you won't proceed without him on the baby front. You are full of it - he KNOWS THAT and so he can use the next twenty years of your life if that's what works for him.

Is that how little you deserve?!

Sad, it really is - and it doesn't have to be!

Get to a reproductive endocrinologist who has a supply of donor embryos and get moving before you wake up as my girlfriend Nancy did in her mid 50's having spent 15 years with a man who strung her along (he wasn't ready for a baby, wasn't ready for marriage, blah, blah, blah) only to LEAVE her a month before her 53rd birthday for a 36 year old woman who is currently pregnant and he's decided to take the "wonderful plunge" of marriage and fatherhood with her.

Now that is something worth blowing your brains over.

Snap the hell out of it, will you?!