Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bears Vs Grandma

It hit me at Christmas when I opened my grandmother's Christmas card that she was slipping into the next stage of aging: when everyone else does everything for you.  You see my grandmother has signed her cards "Grandma Chicago" since Princess A was around three-years old.  Being that my kids were born having more grandmothers than the usual kid--they had a great great grandmother till 1995--everyone got a moniker.  This Christmas my grandmother's card arrived signed "Gramma" in my aunt's hand writing.  It was no surprise that she didn't have the strength in her eighty-eight year old hands to scribe her many given names upon her own cards; her voice was weakening with every weekly call I made to her.

On Christmas Eve we received word that she was taken to the hospital by ambulance.  Leaving for California in a few days left me worrying the "what-ifs".  But I was told my grandmother would have it no other way than for me to head west...of course there was no assurance of what would or could happen while I was in California.

This past Sunday we piled into M's car ('cause Illinois gas is crazy expensive) with constant moans from the girls about not taking the truck and headed to Downers Grove. 

Don't the big girls look all cozy and snug in the back seat of the Honda Accord?

As long as we kept them slumbering they didn't complain, much.  Mostly M because she felt she was much to much of a Diva to be smashed in the middle.

When King Ralph got tired of their we-are-to-close-together-back-here groans... we did what we do best as the dominating gender of the house--we sang every song from the Carpenter's greatest hits album to him.  His response to our song bird voices..."the more you sing and drive me nuts the longer before I stop [for food]."  No wait I believe he said, yep he did say, "I'm waiting for you all to sing Dionne Warwick".  Like every car trip he breaks down and stops before we cancel our choir practice.

I had called my grandma the night before but she was just getting into bed for the night at 730pm.  They put those poor old folks to bed before dinners have begun to digest.  She asked me to call her back the next day.  I did better than that I came, we came, to visit her. Surprise!  She was shocked, but thrilled as she adjusted her blinding eyes as we stepped into her room, "Joooodeeee,(pause) Alee,(pause) Maddi, (pause, pause) Demi and Kevin, ooooohhhh."  I figured we would add to her company, that I would see a cousin or an aunt, an uncle.

Me: Grandma, has anyone else been up to visit you today? Or coming?

Grandma: Ha are you kidding, no, the Bears are playing! 

Chicagoans have their priorities; the whole nursing facility was empty of visitors, except us fools from Saint Louis.  Even Grandma had the Bears playing on her TV.  

My grandma's mind is as sharp as a tack but her body weak.  Although, her appetite proved healthy as she ate her lunch from her wheelchair.   Her body holds more fluid than my bath tub.  Her heart beats faster than a metronome. She always says "you never know when your bus ticket is going to arrive" I'm glad we made the short trip up to visit with her.  Who really knows when her "bus ticket" will arrive; could be today, tomorrow, next week, next year.  In the meantime, just in case, I feel better knowing we'll have no regrets.  

Then we met my best friend and her family for some deep dish pizza and fried calamari.   Some how the two of us managed to spring a whole lot of girls from our loins; leaving our Beta males spouses out numbered ever more.

We checked into the hotel where the girls drew straws as to who got to sleep on the pull out sofa...

which left D ticked off as she is usually always is the one who gets the short straw and is left disgruntled slumbering on the ground.

 Before we left for another visit with Grandma and then home I hit the hotel gym...winning the Biggest Loser at work is a priority for me!  I see dollar signs when I close my eyes.


Lin said...

You came to Chicago and did not call me????! Hrmph. ReallY??? Like MINUTES away from me and did NOT call?? REALLY????!

JODI said...

Lin- Sorry! I was trying to spend time with my grandma and it just happens my BFF was passing by on her way back from a basketball game in Libertyville...otherwise I probably wouldn't have seen anyone else. Next time. I promise!

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