My grandmother had a heart attack last week. Don’t worry, it’s not her time yet. She’s going on a cruise next month. When a doctor in the cardiac unit at UMass Medical told her the cruise might not be a possibility, she put the two fingers next to her thumb together and made like she was pointing a gun. Nope. No mild heart attack will stop her.
Sasha and I each have a grandmother left. Mine is maternal, his paternal. They are both 87.
Sasha’s grandmother had a birthday party this weekend. I have little context from which to judge or compare, but I would say this was a fairly “standard” Brighton Beach party. Four hours of drinking, eating (and eating and eating) and drinking (and drinking) and fun. I mean, as much fun as you can have with limited Russian language. Sasha mentioned his grandmother doesn’t like to take walks around Brighton Beach. Why not? Well, because there are old people. People her age. Lots. She doesn’t want to hang out with them. I watched her face and heard her tone of voice when describing this, and let me tell you something, these old people just aren’t for her.
Thinking back to last Thursday night when we visited my Bubie at the hospital, one big thing stands out. Liron paid so much attention to her. Much more than usual (perhaps thanks to a little coaching on my part.) To start off with, as soon as we entered the hospital room, Liron asked Bubie if she was feeling much better, if she was going to go home soon, and assured her that she had some medicine in her backpack to help her. She proceeded to hop in bed with Bubie, enjoying the many features of her hospital bed, including frequent automatic reclining, and buttons to call the nurse. Liron turned routine nurse check-ins into fun conversations. She invited one nurse to the beach this summer. “Do you have a bikini?” the nurse asked. “No, “ said Liron, looking at her sideways, ” I have a baming suit.” Yes, baming. She then proceeded to give the nurse an anatomy lesson including a section on “your arms are attached to your body.”
After our visit to the hospital, Liron’s visit was all Bubie talked about. It really brightened her spirits.
Aging is a recurring theme here in IWHMC, as is the theme of family, grandmothers included. I’m glad that Liron is able to form relationships with two wonderful great-grandmothers. I hope she has many years to come with both of them, and that one day she will retain great memories of them. In the meantime, the old ladies can get a thrill from hanging out with a young chick.