Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Hello family and friends! It's been some time since I regularly updated this blog. Now is as good a time as any.

My great-grandmother went into the hospital in a coma on Friday from an apparent stroke. My sisters and I met at Doctor's Hospital in Manteca expecting to say our last goodbyes to her. My Gram is nintey-six. She's lived through two world wars, the Depression and 17 presidents. She's even outlived the town in New Mexico where she was born. (Go ahead, Google Venus, NM).

The thing about grandparents, and even parents sometimes, is they've always been there. It's unimaginable to think that someday they'll be gone. My Gram is like that. It was always at her house that we spent countless summer days fishing, feeding ducks, swimming and paddle-boating in the Discovery Bay where she and Grandpa lived until about '00. Christmases, Thanksgivings and family reunions were there by default. She was the glue, our matriarch.

It's been harder and harder for her and Grandpa to get out, though my Gram still drives to church on Sundays. They don't hold holiday events anymore, it's simply too much work. Our family is a bit scattered these days, not having any one place to go and even skipping chances of seeing one another this or that year because of obligations to our own nuclear families.

This weekend, my family came back together. My mother and big sister began talking again (my sister and I just started talking ourselves a few months ago, rebuilding a very damaged relationship that used to be very, very close). Great aunts, cousins and other grandparents have used facebook to keep informed those who live too far. We were acting like a family again.

My Gram was nodding, but couldn't open her eyes. The doctors couldn't tell what kind of damage had been done because her pacemaker prevented her from having an MRI. They told us she would either wake up or she wouldn't. This weekend we could do nothing but wait. It was the worst feeling in the world.

My sisters and I haven't seen a lot of our Gram since she moved to Manteca and we've gotten out on our own, living at least an hour and a half away from her and from each other. Our lives are busy and we make excuses and, like I said, there was this sense that Gram would always be there. Knowing we might lose her and never be able to make up for that was heart-wrenching.

I'll tell you what kind of procrastinators we are. My Gram gave me three baby spider plants from hers about three years ago. Two of them I potted and the third I had neither pot nor dirt for. It lived in a Pom juice glass for almost three years. This weekend I got my lazy butt up and potted the darn thing and named it Lucille. It was all I could do not to lose my mind.

My Gram spoke on Monday night. I had gone to bed early, so hadn't been awake to get the messages until the next morning. It was the best news in the whole world. I know how lucky we are. Not everyone gets a second chance like this-not with a ninty-six year old great-grandma suffering a massive stroke. I'm so grateful to my family for pulling together, for Doctor's Hospital for taking such good care of my Gram and for the latest advances in medical science treating stroke victims.

I'm going to go see my Gram this weekend. I'm going to tell her about my spider plant and tell her how much I love her and that she has always been the best grandma in the whole world. If I end up even half as awesome as her, I'll still have super-hero status. I'd like to thank all my friends and family for the support they showed during this time. I couldn't have done this without you all. Thank you.

Have a great night everyone and if you can, call your grandma.

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