>Again, my apologies for the strange formatting. Word Press may be getting another user, as I’m just about done with Blogger. Today, my grandmother was transferred to a hospice house. She’s been in the hospital since February 13th, and to be honest, I’ve kept thinking that she was going to pull out of this. All this time, I thought that she would get better. It might take a while, months probably, but she would eventually be well enough to go home. On Friday, her defibulator was turned off. Today, her doctors discontinued her medications. Bit by bit, day by day, I’m seeing that, barring a miracle, she will not get better. Not in the way I’ve meant it. She’s only 79. I say “only” because there’s a story she tells that says that my brother and I always said she’d live to be 100. That’s just over 20 years away. Her birthday is June 5th. When I talked her into going to the hospital on February 13th–when she fell for the second time in three days–I told her that I wasn’t ready for her to die yet. I just kept saying, “I’m not ready yet.” And I’m still not. It’s not that I’m afraid of where she’ll spend eternity. It’s because I’m selfish. I want her here, with me. She’s Gran. My spicy, unconventional grandmother. The regional favorite name “Maw-maw,” and the traditional “Grandmother” were probably too stuffy or matrionly for her. I remember seeing it only once, when I was in maybe the Sixth Grade, in a book. I don’t recall the title and I couldn’t really tell you much about the book, except bits of it, and one being that the guy’s grandmother, Gran, lived in Barbados. Then, this past year, I learned that a little boy in Abbie’s preschool class calls his great-grandmother Gran, the way Abbie does. I always wanted my kids to call my grandparents by the names I called them: Gran, Maw-maw, Paw-paw, and Nanny (my great-grandmother, who passed away when I was 15). I want my kids to know her the way I did, even though the Gran I knew as a child has turned into a much more fragile one who cannot travel, go for a drive, or go on marathon shopping sprees the way she did when I was a little girl. Blindness and illness have changed that. They know her, but I wish they had more time with her. We lost Paw-paw when Hannah was 2; she barely remembers him and both she & Abbie mostly know him through photos and stories. I didn’t think the same would be true for Gran. All I want to do is watch Shirley Temple movies with her, and sing the songs she sang to me when I was little. I’m not sure if that’s crazy or silly or what, but it really is all I want to do.

The strangest part of it is that I’ve decided I need a dress like the one Sandra Bullock wore in “Hope Floats” for her mother’s funeral. I don’t know why. I don’t look like Sandra Bullock. I’m way bigger than she. I have no idea why I have it in my head that I should have a black dress like this. And a similar hair style. Go figure. Now I know why Joan Didion appropriately named her novel, The Year of Magical Thinking. It’s a must read if you’ve ever experienced loss or grief. You may not agree with everything she wrote, but her take on how it takes a while for the brain and heart to really grasp that the person you love really is gone and won’t, for example, be coming back or need their shoes, is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I told Paul today that I don’t want to think about the funeral or services. I don’t want to think of Gran really dying. I don’t want to think about telling the girls, though I know we need to prepare them. Also in the weird/interesting/odd (whatever) category, I’ve always thought that Hannah looks like the little girl in “Hope Floats.” Especially now that she wears glasses. Anyway, movie stuff aside, I have to say, I’m surprised at how tired I am. It reminds me a bit of when I was pregnang (no, I’m not). My suspicion is that it’s part true fatigue (trying to be everything to everyone, all the time [wife, mother, housekeeper, nursery director, errand runner & vistor for Gran]) and part grief/despression. Tonight, I went to sleep around 5:30 and woke up around 9. It’s 3:07 AM, and I’m wide awake. I want off this roller coaster now, please.

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