Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Silent Strokes

Sorry for my silence as of late. I recently received news that my grandmother has had another stroke. This is her second stroke. My mind has been a bit preoccupied as a result.

Let me tell you a little about my grandmother. I could actually go on and on abaout her. In fact, she and I wrote her biography together last year. Her life has been filled with excitement and drama. She's definitely an inspiration to me to live my life to the fullest - as she has certainly done!

She is truly an amazing woman. At 92, she is still living the high life. She drove her corvette like a race car driver until the car finally gave out on her in her mid-80's. Even now she approaches each stop light as if she's in a drag race. She's also performed in local theatre productions. She's volunteered for the Humane Society for practically her entire life. Growing up, she frequently had up to five dogs and four cats simultaneously. Even now, she's managed to smuggle two dogs and a cat into her assisted living home. She was a showgirl dancer in her 20's and has kept dancing throughout her life, though switching to ball room dancing in her golden years - though that woman could still kick her leg up against her face until she had both of her hips replaced in her 80's. And... despite her second stroke, she still plans to attend and perform in a dance competition in Argentina in January 2005! Fortunately, the strokes seem to be affecting her memory more than her functional abilities. But her health isn't getting any better. She also has congestive heart failure.

Her last letter, which was written to me before this most recent stroke said,

"It's natural that I am starting to think about [the end of life]. I hope when I go that my friends and those who love me will not grieve. I feel fortunate to have such an active and enjoyable life at my age. My only hope is to go quickly. [The trip to Argentina will] cost extra, but what the hell - how much longer do I have!"

Of course, doing all the work that I do, I have already appoached some conversations with my grandmother about her eventual death. She already knows that I will grieve despite her wishes to the contrary.

But now I have to ask myself, when is it time to go visit her for my last "goodbye." She may want to go quickly, but I also want a chance to say goodbye. She lives about a five hour plane ride away. I've visited her twice in the last two years (once when she nearly died of her congestive heart failure and once after the first stroke). My grandmother has such strong spirit, she could be around for another five years. And I'm not sure I can afford plane tickets each time she gets hospitalized. On the other side, I am always shocked when people are hospitalized and their families *don't* come to visit. It seems so sad to me. [big sigh] This is such a difficult decision. Can you see why I haven't written? I made the mistake of asking for questions in a recent post - now I want answers again! :-)

Hope you all have Happy Holidays! Thanks so much for all of the supportive comments I've gotten recently!

1 comment:

dein said...

may your grandma will recover a.s.a.p.