In case this year hasn't started out crappy enough, my gram is likely dying. Sure, I should look at the number 92 and be happy. I don't remember her ever looking young, and she doesn't look any older than she used to. I always remember her as a mass of wrinkles and white hair, coke-bottle glasses on her blue eyes, and bent over too much, and skinnier than any human ought to be. I remember curling up on her lap at the wise age of 10 and asked her why she smoked. Didn't she love me and want to watch me grow up? She laughed. She said that she knew it was bad for her, but she wasn't ready to stop. It was indeed a very bad habit to get into, and that I better not start. She then told me stories about how the attitude towards cigarettes used to be different. In her college, they piled big bowls of cigarettes in the cafeteria and offered them for free. Much later, she told me about how she used to clean for a woman whose daughter offered her a companionable smoke in the kitchen often enough to get her hooked. This of course got her sacked for teaching the daughter how to smoke and getting *her* hooked.
And if you spoke with her now about smoking, she'd tell you if she was in the mood to be honest that she was still addicted. She'll buy a pack once a month or so, turn off the oxygen and have a smoke. Some how, I don't think they'll let her have one now in the hospital. And in the nursing facility, the alarm goes off if she stepped outside, and heaven forbid you light up indoors. She'll bitch about it if you let her. But of course, my mum firmly believes that she's gave up smoking years ago. Yeah, right.
However, lung cancer is not her problem. Nope, Gram has felt a general weakness for the past month or so. She fell in the wee hours the Friday before kissmoose and wasn't found until the next afternoon. And then she complained of not being able to pee or poop. And she felt nausea at the thought of food. It's how much later, and she still can't pee or poo, giving the lie to the book, "Everybody Poops." She's been admitted to the hospital when she spiked a temperature over 104. The docs are talking surgery, but Gram is refusing that. She doesn't mind the catheter because it relieves the pressure. But these enemas are awful. My poor mother was never comfortable with scatalogical references, so she's being overwhelmed. That and she works for H&R Block, and her working season is upon her. We shall see how it goes for her. I am calling home regularly to get more info and try to be supportive.
My terrible mind is twisting and wanting to write a horrible bit of Drivel about "Gam can't Poo." Unfortunately there really shouldn't be anything that funny about it.
I admit she's not the favorite grandmother- I look like my other grandmother, Meme. But Gram has always had a certain pragmatic streak I've admired. She's done a lot of things just because they needed to be done. She doesn't complain. I know she had it rough. But she'll just shrug. It's what she had to do. She got it done. And I think that's the main reason she doesn't want surgery that may or may not be helpful. She knows mom will dig in her heels and object to Gram going back to her house and living alone. And That's what Gram wants, most of all. If she can't have that, fuck it.
I still have to admire that. I've always had a lot of respect for her.
The hard part is keeping mom sane. But I'm used to that too. I think I'd better mail her some more hot chocolate.