On Thanksgiving Thursday, we had a late lunch at my dad's mom's. She is my only living grandparent. My brother's kids and Sissy and Lucky had a great time playing in the leaves. She had managed to rake or mow them in her front yard, but the back yard is full of lots of hard-wood trees. And, well, she's 87, so the back yard was left undone till another day.
Which was just fine and dandy with the kiddos.
The gate and the barn door are permanent fixtures in my memories. My brother and I spent many summer days here with our grandparents. Grandpa could build or weld anything. A natural engineer, he was the area expert for all things automotive and agricultural. The blades and gears on the barn wall were put there by him before he died - in 1993.
It was a great day with the family.
Then at 3am, the phone rang. My dad was at Grandma's house and had called 911. She was having another heart attack. I met him at the local ER, prepared to play the patient advocate/level-headed-thinker/pit bull role I seem to be pretty good at.
Her pain level was obvious, as her hand and body shook uncontrollably. I asked them to give her something for the pain, pointing out that she does not normally have tremors or Parkinson's.
After a quick consultation with the on-call cardiologist (yes, we have one. I was surprised.), we all agreed that transferring her to Trinity in Birmingham for the stints, etc. If the weather had been better, she would have gone by helicopter. My dad and his brother - who arrived as soon as he could - drove to Birmingham behind the ambulance. I returned home and went back to bed for a couple of hours, knowing that I may be needed to take care of bringing clothes or something to her there.
2 stints, 2 hours flat on her back till the catheter could be removed, 6 more hours on her back after that and the weekend in CCU.
Except she moved to a regular room on Sunday afternoon and came home Tuesday.
I stopped by to visit with her and return her purse Tuesday afternoon. She met me at her front door and held it open for me and Lucky.
She is better and improving more each day.
March 18, she will be 88. And this Sunday, my brother, his kids, Sissy, Lucky and I will take care of the rest of the leaves. I can't promise that there will be no jumping in the piles.
But I do promise to be more thankful for Grandma.