So…About That Journaling Business

Clearly, it didn’t happen, and when it did, I came off sounding a wee bit crazy (see below).

I’ve just had slightly more important things to do, like sleeping, eating, visiting my sick g-ma…

Let’s talk about her for a second.   Wednesday morning, I drive up to Omaha (getting abysmally lost both to and from, because that’s how I roll) to see her.  Last week she fell and broke her thigh in three places, then she had a massive heart attack while in the hospital.  Plus, she has type-2 diabetes and has already had heart surgery before.  Needless to say, things aren’t looking so hot for her.   That morning, she’d just had her breathing tube removed and she was able to speak, sort of.  The doctors advised her not to talk to much so that her throat would heal, but seriously, that’s like telling the woman not to breathe.   I swear, she could hold a conversation with a wall.

I tried to ramble on about the goings-on in my life, to keep her from trying to talk, which was unsuccessful because she’s stubborn as hell and I’m as boring as hell.    It’s summer; there’s nothing happening in my life, at least nothing that’s suitable to tell your grandmother as she’s lying on her (maybe/hopefully not) death bed.   Though she did manage to squeeze something out of me.  She’s always having these random dreams, and she told me about one she’d had the night before.  Her voice was obviously raspy, so I didn’t get all of it, but from what I gather, I was in the mountains and a jet fighter plane came and took me and my apparent lover up in the sky and dropped us off at another place in the mountain.  Then she dropped the “this-is-my-not-so-subtle-way-of-telling-you-to-pop-me-out-some-grandkids-already” bomb and said, “So what was the name of the boy you like, again?”

Oh Grandmommy, you clever minx.   Experience has taught me never to volunteer more information about my love life to my family than is absolutely necessary, lest I have to endure very probing questions and awkward conversations.   I highly doubt that I’ve mentioned a more-than-friends-boy by name to her, ever.  For all she knows, I’m freaking Mother Teresa.

But she’s on her (non) deathbed, I’m not going to lie to her.  I give her a name, just a name.  No story, no long, drawn-out drama.  Thankfully, she doesn’t ask questions.  Instead, she corrects me.
“No, no, that’s not the one in my dream.   His name was Andre”
“I don’t know an Andre, Grandmommy.”
“Well, Andre is an old name.   The [something] name is ‘Andrew'”
“I don’t know any Andrews that well”  (Not true, I do know an Andrew; he’s a magnificent human being and a wonderful friend, but we’ve grown apart and my attempts at reconnecting have been met with half-hearted responses, which kind of hurts.  But I digress!)

Not even 5 minutes later, a young doctor comes in the room, and I swear he looked like he just walked off the set of E.R. or General Hospital or something (does that show even come on anymore?  My grandma used to watch it, I think, until I told her that watching soap operas was a sin and that she was making God sad, so she never watched them again. I was like 7 or 8 at the time, for what it’s worth…).  Anyway, the doctor is super-cute.   He says:

“You must be the granddaughter.  I’m Andy, I’m a 4th year medical student and I’m taking care of your grandmother’s case.”
I didn’t even have a chance to introduce myself before my grandma gave him the entire 411 on who I was, what I was doing in school, my ring size (maybe not so much on the last one…)

I didn’t make the connection between his name and our prior conversation until after he’d left.  My first thought was:

Is my grandma trying to hook me up with her doctor?

Second thought:

Has my grandma lost her damn mind?

Second thought needs a bit of explanation:  My grandma is the granddaughter of former slaves, she grew up in a small town in Tennessee.  She lived during the Jim Crow era, and while she spent a good part of her adulthood overseas with my grandpa in the military, she still experienced a great deal of racism.  My dad once told me that he can clearly remember the day that my grandparents were allowed to vote for the first time in their lives, well into their thirties.    I divulge all of this to say that, while my grandmother doesn’t actively dislike white people (I mean, she has friends that are white.  Okay, I officially hate myself for using that line…), she wouldn’t exactly be thrilled if I were involved with some blonde-haired, blue-eyed chap, even if he were a doctor.    It should go without saying but for the record, I don’t feel the same way as my g-ma.  I think love transcends all boundaries: racial, social, ethnic, whatever.  But that’s another story.

All in all, it was nice to see my grandma and see that she was doing relatively better.  I wish I could’ve spent more time with her, but I had to leave the room several times to get her to stop talking.   Whenever I tried to talk to her, to entertain her, she’d interrupt me with some vaguely related story about some distant cousin of mine or a random TV show.   This is nothing new, again, she loves to talk about nothing, but I told her that if she kept talking so much, they might have to stick the tube back down her throat.

A few minutes later, she asks the nurse for a phone.   Apparently, she wanted to call her Cousin Louise in Peoria.


The nurse throws up her hands and I run out of the room, cracking up.  That woman will never change.


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