Friday, November 30, 2007
My Nini, my mother's mother, aka She Who Shows Up, is mother to a huge brood of seven kids, each of them with kids of their own, and many of those with kids as well. She is much loved, because she loves so much, and often visited and spends much effort balancing the distribution of attention to each and all.
Since my Bumpa passed away earlier this year she's been nursing a sore back; in the last few weeks she's been experiencing strange persistent chest pain. The pain was so bad that she was admitted to the hospital so that they could figure out what was going on, and they discovered that a morphine drip wasn't enough to quench the angry ache. So they gave her something stronger.
One of my aunts was down there visiting when this all reached a head; another flew down as things started to heat up.
The doctors are still testing, they haven't pinned it down exactly, and yesterday the doctor told her that they hoped to have a diagnosis for her today.
My Nini being the practical Oakie that she is figured they knew enough by now and said to the doc: "Tell me straight: what do you think I have?"
And he said: "We think you have an aggressive form of cancer."
And this is what Nini did: She asked her kids not to call. She asked her kids to ask their kids not to call. For 24 hours. So that she could sit and think in peace and make some decisions about the rest of her life.
Call on Saturday, she said. Give me a chance to think. Give me room for my thoughts.
And so I will. I'll wait awhile to show up. And while I wait I'll hold her in my heart. No thoughts. Just hold her there, surround her with love. Surround her with life; the life she gave me.
p.s. Last year Nini self-published her memoirs -- here's a snippet »
And, while we're still in the holiday season, you really oughta try Nini's cherry jello recipe »
(cameraphone shot from this summer's Rocky Mountain road trip; shot in Silverton, CO, 9k+ feet in the air)