We lost my grandmother today. For those who might not know, it was totally expected. She had been in declining health for a long time, and living with my mother who had been taking care of her for many years now. She was constantly in and out of the hospital, and my mother had somehow managed to take care of her for a long time even though Mimi (as we knew her) was really far beyond the capabilities that should have been expected from my mom. Somehow my Supermom managed to make it work all this time though, even though Mimi really should have gone into some place where she would have been professionally cared for 24/7. The thought of any kind if “home” or anything was anathema to her though, so my mom bravely soldiered forward, living her life basically as a 24/7 home care nurse.
With this last trip to the hospital, it was pretty much determined that things were looking worse, and that these might be her final days. She had a “Living Will” and did not want to be kept alive by any machines or life support or any of that. In her final week she was moved to a Houston facility, and my mom, my 2 uncles, and their wives were pretty constantly down there with her. In her final days, the doctors had proposed various feeding tubes and procedures which really served no purpose but to delay the inevitable, so in the end all those procedures were declined, and instead, she was just put on oxygen and morphine to make her comfortable. That was yesterday. She died some time after noon today. I’m sure she was ecstatic to finally be out of her misery and to again be with my uncle Jim, who I’m sure was there to greet her with his guitar in hand at the boat dock, bus stop, train station, futuristic air tube, or whatever other transit there is to the after life.
My mother and I spent a large majority of my life living in the same house with Mimi, so she was a large part of my growing up too. A few random memories:
She introduced me to the delicacies of butter and sugar sandwiches, raw cookie dough (which I liked to eat as much as finished cookies), and can probably be blamed for my enduring sweet tooth.
She was responsible for exposing me to old horror films, Monty Python, and Benny Hill, which I’m sure played a large part in shaping me.
She obviously raised a damn good family too, since my mom and my uncles are all exemplary human beings.
Good bye, Mimi. Here’s some change for Charon, the bus driver, the train conductor, air tube coin slots, or whatever it may be. Say hello to Jim for me.