Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Sleepovers with Grama used to mean weekends ensconced with my sister in the "Princess Suite" -- my grandparents' name for the refurbished upstairs bedroom that had formerly been a mother-in-law apartment over the refinished garage when my great-grama lived with them.

It meant steak -- always steak -- and a salad of iceberg lettuce and marinated artichoke hearts.

It meant popcorn and old movies or old movie musicals -- whatever was on the networks before cable. Zorro. Shane. The Sound of Music. It meant Grama bursting into a full throated "Climb Every Mountain" as the final credits rolled.

It meant good night bear hugs and waking early and running downstairs as eager as Christmas morning, bare feet on the cold cement corridor pointed towards the warm kitchen smelling of coffee (always coffee, strong and dark) where I'd climb high on the counter stool in my nightie and wait for waffles or omelets or something equally delicious while reading the trivet that sat on my grandmother's stove: "Grow old with me: the best is yet to be.

It meant a weekend with Grama and Bompa: playing, giggling, being alive.

Last night a sleepover with Grama meant curling up in my clothes on the cot that her kind night Aid rolled in for us last Friday. It meant waking at three to converse with the nurse about whether we should turn her, whether we should give her the Tylenol suppository that she hates to have administered but that seems to alleviate her discomfort.

It meant pulling away her oxygen tube at dawn at her tugging request and watching her fitful right hand, the only one that remains truly mobile, flit to her eye and then curl below her chin as if the weight of her head were resting there, in a gesture I've shared with her always, unconsciously, deep in my DNA.


Scrivener said...

This is really deeply touching. {{{suttonhoo}}}

Bonita said...


We are both thinking of you and your Grama every day...Being there is so good for both of you. Walking the final path with anyone is an act of love and an act of humility. You are so open and loving....exactly what your Grama needs on this journey.


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