If your Grams isn't around, call your mom - or someone you love and who loves you unconditionally.
This Friday, my grandma will have her foot and/or leg amputated due to complications of diabetes.
We like to call her the energizer grandma (like the bunny) she was diagnosed years ago with congestive heart failure. Stints, bypass surgery, angiograms and heart attacks all come and go. This woman has given birth 10 times, heart attack - schmar - ta -tac.
Her comments about her heart doctor still echoing inside my head "He has a very nice bedside manner and has the handsome looks of JFK Jr."
We discuss the loss of her limb and she points out the following with a chuckle: Less of me to cremate, I've never been a dancer, as long as I can get from A to B.
She states that the surgery should take anywhere from 1/2 hour -45 minutes and that she will only be in the hospital for 3-5 days. I am not sure of how much of this is true.
We briefly discuss her youngest adult child (My Aunt) who turns 42 today. Aunt P has recently moved back in with her 4 children, grandchild, boyfriend and daughters boyfriend. Did you get that? It's 9 people total - Grandma included - in a 4 bedroom house. Grandma doesn't complain about sharing her home, handing out money, making them meals and paying the mortgage each month. She mentions it's a fair trade because they take care of her. I BITE MY TONGUE and refrain from what would be a world wind of very mean yet truthful things to say about this situation. Obviously, if she was being taken care of - she wouldn't be in the situation she is currently in. While I know she loves the company she is forced to state the obvious and mutters the words "That girl of mine has to grow up".
Grandma mentions about how she was named after St. Therese. A brief history, St. Therese was born to a middle class french family of tradesmen. She was known for her child like love and trust of God. At the end of our conversation, Grandma mentioned she will have Fr. Mike at her parish give her a special blessing and pray over her before she heads to surgery. She mentioned that she has had them do this in the past however she has never shared this with me. It's fear, the fear of the unknown and her life possibly ending. I know it's a possiblility yet I am unable to wrap my mind around it or the thought of her passing as a reality. Not yet, I need more time with her.
We have a tearful good bye. I tell her that I will be around to see her either Thursday, Friday or Saturday - not sure when. She reminds me that God only gives us what we can handle. I say "Well, Grandma - he must think you are one tough cookie."
The surgery is very high risk and her overall health is not good. For all of the unconditional love she has given me, for the caring spirit wrapped in her DNA that we are so blessed to have, giving selflessly - to a fault. If I could take all of her fear away -I would, in a heartbeat.