Thursday, December 22, 2005

My grandmother

My grandmother had a stroke the other day. They said it was a mini-stroke at first, whatever that means, but from the looks of it I doubt it was mini. Apparently she's still in the hospital, two nights later, unable to walk and incapable of making good use of her left side. Not that she was such a great walker before, but still. She'll need rehab, and that's all the details I know.

It just so happened that my parents were in Montreal (where she and my grandfather live) when my grandfather noticed her slumped at the computer not playing her pogo solitaire as usual. It just so happened that I talked to her on the telephone for the first time in six months that very morning.

So my mother is still there spending her time in the hospital and my father went back to Toronto. My poor mom must feel alone. And this damn time change doesn't make it any easier.

I wonder how you feel when you're an 84 year old woman who has just had a stroke. Does she think of it as the beginning of the end? Does she think of it as something she'll get passed? Does she even think of it at all?

My grandmother has been in the early stages of Alzheimer's for about five years now and when I called she wasn't sure if she'd received any postcards from me. Early shmearly. She's received six. I told her to tell my grandfather to tape them to the fridge so she doesn't forget. She hasn't forgotten me but she forgot what she ate for lunch the previous day.

As a girl she had a dislocated hip, resulting in a childhood of casts and then one leg longer than the other. She's always been cared for by my grandfather who cooks and cleans and, well, does everything.

How does a man feel when his wife of sixty years who is steadily losing her memory suffers her first stroke at the age of 84? Is he afraid of being alone? Does it mean he's next?

My grandmother has always been into positive living and bunch of other new-age things I never understood. Her bookshelf is stocked solely with self-help books. Her favourite things to say: God Bless. Long life.


At December 22, 2005 11:00 a.m. , Anonymous seadragon said...

Sorry to hear about your grandmother. Glad you got to talk with her that morning.

At December 22, 2005 12:26 p.m. , Blogger Christopher Olie's Dad said...

I guess the take away lesson to us all is that never count on catching up later on relationships. You never know what can happen, then we are left with many things unsaid, many deeds un-done and no way to go back to make ammends.


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