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A Week with Grandma

by Tara

When I first arrived at the hospital after my flight to Illinois, my grandma was pale and disoriented, but delighted to see me. Now, just four days later, she's so rosy-cheeked and healthy that we've been planning her third annual fall trip to Vermont. She really, really wants to see our little house, and I really hope she'll be able to visit again.

I've spent most of the visit in grandma's hospital room, holding her hand. She squeezes and pat my hands, telling me how much she loves me. Then, I do the same. She's been so wacked-out from all the medicine she's been given, though, that her short term memory is fairly shot. And so over and over it goes, telling each other how much we love one another until the air in the room is practically vibrating with good energy.

Tara & Grandma Jeanne (by Lisa's Cell Phone)

She's amazing. I don't know how she does it. Everywhere she goes, she radiates love and joy and gratitude. Even in the midst of a heart attack. Even while getting lots of shots and living on hospital food. May I one day live with the same grace. The nurses love her, and I beam with pride knowing that they wish all of their patients were like her. They enjoy caring for her, because she's so darn likable.

When grandma falls asleep, I hang out with my parents. Sometimes I run errands for them—I know they're grateful to have me here, and for the benefit of a third pair of hands. It is wonderful to be here with them, though I wish it was under different circumstances. One thing is certain: they've been doing an amazing job looking after grandma!

Now, it's time to head back east. I've said my goodbyes and parted with final hugs, and am heading to the airport, so grateful I've been able to drop everything and visit my family for a week. Grandma, meanwhile, has improved enough to be discharged this afternoon, when my parents will take her back home to her apartment.

It's time once again to think about that house we're building, about finishing nooks and window seats and interior plaster. But now I'm doing so bolstered by the love and support that comes from being around my family. I love them all so much.

PS: Here are some photos from when my grandma's cousin, Betty and Chub, came to visit. They drove two and a half hours to come see her. It was a wonderful visit, and I'm glad we got to see them.

Chubby & Grandma Jeanne Chubby & Betty Betty & Grandma Jeanne Chubby, Betty & Grandma Jeanne