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My Granny

August 23rd, 2007

I write about my Granny sometimes, how crazy, funny and smart she is and how much everyone is nuts about her. Or because of her. And I run her recipes sometimes, too.

Today it’s not funny, or crazy, just sad. She had congestive heart failure three years ago this fall, and she’s never fully recovered from it. She’s 87. She has diabetes. She is still mourning my Grandpa’s death, ten years ago. He was a force of nature, that guy. We’re all lost without him. When he died, and my cousin died (I wrote about it here) our extended family on my mom’s side fell apart.

Wait… here they are now! “No we didn’t! We’re a close family. Liar!” “Yes, we did, witch.” “It’s your fault, you’ve always been mean. You’re the meanest.” “No, he’s the meanest, he’s a jerk.” “You’re a drama queen. You always fall apart in emergencies.” Ad nauseum. I don’t really spend much time with my Granny, or my extended family. Because it’s nothing but back-biting and bitchiness. And that’s just when I walk in the room.

My Granny and I do talk on the phone a lot, though, and send cards. And I’ve been working on her memoirs this summer, which has been so cool.

My Granny developed pneumonia, while we were on vacation, so I spent some of the time from the road calling her, my mom, my sister, and trying to figure out what was going on. How sick was she? Does she need to go into assisted living? (My take: yes. My family’s take: “She’s fine. People who think that people should go into assisted living are idiots.” Note the careful construction of that sentence: Never, “You’re an idiot,” but rather, “People who do, say, think whatever you’re doing, saying, thinking are idiots.”)

She lives with my uncle, but he works full-time. I ordered Meals on Wheels for her, but that’s just one visit a day, five days a week. She had a diabetic episode the other night, it’s still not clear to me what happened, because I hear everything third-hand. The paramedics came out and helped her, but they didn’t admit her to the hospital.

My Granny’s memory is not what it used to be, it makes it tough. Honestly? It was never what it used to be — it’s always been fanciful and very much from her own wacky point of view, which is a nice way of saying, she should have been a writer, that girl. She likes the random details. I got that from her. (Smile.)

My mom is at the doctor’s with her now. I talked with Granny before they left. She was crying and a little addled (family voices: “Drama queen!”) and it broke my heart. She’s not my parent, she’s my grandparent. I have no say in any of this. Any words of wisdom out there?

And please keep her in your thoughts, prayers, good wishes. I would appreciate that very much and she would, too.


  1. mia says

    Remember what we talked about….you are in my thoughts. Be strong.

    August 23rd, 2007 | #

  2. Anne says

    Great book published by Workman’s Publishing called “How to care for your aging parents”. I know this is your grandma, but it still might help.
    I love your take on her memory–accuracy is way over-rated.

    August 23rd, 2007 | #

  3. wacky cousin says

    Not to add to the bs, but at least you get told. I hear about her from your blog. Woo-Hoo! Family!

    August 24th, 2007 | #

  4. WackyMommy says

    That’s my cousin! Sorry, cuz. Nice way to find out your Grandma is sick, via the Information Highway. Sorry no one called.

    Anne, sounds like just what I need. I’ll pick up a copy.

    Mia, I’ll remember that always. Thank you.

    August 24th, 2007 | #

  5. Vixen says

    My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer last December. Watching my usually very together Mom, Aunts and Uncles suddenly lose it was very hard. Every single one of them was in charge. They have always been so close, it really broke my heart. But, alas, I am just the grandchild and they wouldn’t let in more help. Maybe its a coping mechanism, but it is very hard. My prayers are with you and the family.

    August 24th, 2007 | #

  6. WackyMommy says

    Vixen, thank you. I am sorry to hear about your grandmother. It is tough.

    August 24th, 2007 | #

  7. edj says

    I’m behind on your blog and I’m so sorry I didn’t know about this! I’ll be praying. It’s hard enough, but so much worse when you’re kept out of the loop and not allowed to help make decisions.

    August 25th, 2007 | #

  8. Elle says

    Unfortunately I don’t have any words of wisdom :( but wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts.

    August 26th, 2007 | #

  9. Mallory says

    I am so sorry sweetie. I am sending love and prayers your way. If there is anything I can do for you guys, please let me know. She is such a cool lady. I love how you are perserving her memories and how close you are. I have enjoyed her recipes and so have my family and guests. I hope and pray and hold on tight with you. ((hugs))

    August 27th, 2007 | #

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