Friday, January 10, 2003

The World According to Grandma

My Grandmother is 92 years old. She's a complete invalid, and her world barely extends past the recliner that's her own kind of prison bed. She hasn't really been "all there" in some time, but now that she's on the good antidepressants, she's pretty happy. Much better than when she was belligerantly insisting that all my aunts and uncles were plotting to kill her, and that my 96-year-old grandfather was sleeping with the help. Sean met her (well, "them", I guess....) over Christmas, which delighted my grandmother. "Sean?" she said, "Oh, you must be Irish!" (Except with her southern accent, it came out "Our-ish") "You are tall!" she finished emphatically. Well hell, he is.

The highlight of the brief visit was when she asked him (in a whisper at the top of her lungs) if this was a "serious friendship". Sean's affirmation that it was, indeed, a "serious friendship" (whatever that may mean), delighted her even more. "Oh, I like that!" she said with a weak happy smile.

Talking to my mom on the phone last night, I was informed that the incident had grown and grown in her mind, gathering speed as if it were rushing downhill. First, Grandma had been telling visitors just that I and my boyfriend had come for a visit, that he had been sitting next to her and holding her hand, and that she had asked him about his intentions. (Well, that's kind of true, more or less...) Next, it had become that the two of them were dancing, and she had asked him about his intentions. (She hasn't left that chair without someone lifting her in a couple years.) Then, the line between me and my mother became blurred, until it was my mom's boyfriend (it's not entirely clear if my mom is me or her at this point). The boyfriend then became a "New York lawyer" who wanted to marry me; but I was refusing because New York was too far from home and I'd be "homesick" (I'm not sure if she was referring to Maryland or Boston...Maryland I'd assume....). When he became a New York lawyer, he later seemed to have revealed to her that he was simply desperate to marry me, but I wouldn't because I'd miss home too much; even though he said that there was a bus right outside his apartment that would take me home! (I'm not sure about the magical bus that departs NYC and arrives in Smalltown, MD...)

It makes her happy, I suppose. She's rumored to have told people that I have 2 PhD's and am working on a third, as well. (If only that were all it took to make it so...) And if it brings some amount of happiness into her otherwise uneventful life, it's fine with me.

I love my grandmother. I'll miss her terribly when she's gone. But in a way, I suppose she already is.

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