Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's a girl!

My gram is sick. She's ninety three, so it's to be expected. I have time to spend with the feisty lady all through this spring and summer, so it's worked out beautifully. Sort of.

I spent a large portion of my day yesterday at different doctors offices with her. My mom came too. We joked at lot at the old lady's expense and made the doctors laugh, which gave them more incentive to spend an extra moment or two examining my gram. I know people, it's my job.

She's being brave. She has tumors in her mouth and a weak valve in her heart. She's at the end of this whole adventure and all she's wondering is "What's going to get me?" It can't be fun.

And she's still mean. And difficult. And incredibly funny.

At one point yesterday, I looked at her, prone on an examination table. Her hair perfect (she went to the hairdressers first) her clothes perfectly matched, her nails perfect, her high heels dangling off still dainty ankles. And I looked at myself. Jeans borrowed from my sixteen year old WAY too low cut for anyone my age. A long scarf, a wrinkled white mens shirt. Jagged, chipped nails.

What happened to me? When did I decide to be a tomboy forever?

Screw that.

Later, after everyone was safe at home, I escaped my life for a few hours and went to a place where no one speaks English but they seem to know exactly what I want.

I got my nails done, and my toes too. A sparkly mauve, because that's her favorite nail color, my gram.

I did it for her. Even though I know that when I see her she'll say, "Oh, honey. They're painted too dark. I always go a shade lighter, and by the way, have you put on weight?"

And I'll say, "Since yesterday, gram? Really?"

*For those of you who regularly read my blog, notice under my thumb on the left of the photo you can see we found a place to hang Tessy's rainbow!*


  1. And that's what family is all about, painting their nails (in the figurative sense)and beautifying them and loving them DESPITE the challenges, huh? I'm inspired to take out the polish now!

  2. This is really great. Thanks for sharing--I wish we could all share that moment with our grandmothers.

  3. There just never seems to be enough time to spend with that loved one who's at the end of their earthly journey, especially when you don't know exactly how much time there will be, or when the last time you kissed them goodbye will have been the last time you kissed them goodbye. How wonderful for both of you that you will have the time to share these months(or more) with her. .

  4. What a lovely picture you paint, of old age, of grandmothers (mine was nothing like that-wellies all the way!), of family, and of a sixteen year old who would lend you her jeans.
    Not to mention of a mother who fits into her sixteen year old's jeans!
    Seriously,your Gram is wonderful- I'd love to be like that at 93!

  5. I enjoyed the words today.

    First thought: You have to be so strong to be old. The strong ones find ways to make the best of it all and deal with what's coming. I sometimes think the less able to coupe are allowed to leave early, or just not strong enough mentally to make the most of the whole journey.

    Second thought: It is all still a mystery to me, the attention given to hair, make up and uncomfortable shoes and cloths. Women continue to pay attention throughout life. the guys as soon as they don't have to go for comfort more often than not, dressing up only when forced to or when the attention stops.

    I'm sure there exceptions. Again, Thank you for writing above.

  6. 93 what a great age! She has seen a lot of changes in her life time.

    Good luck to you both

  7. How wonderful to have your grandmother a part of your life for so many years and she sounds like a real it.....:-) Hugs

  8. Your grandmother sounds amazing. *hugs*

    I love how you tell stories. Ooh, and I knew you'd find a place for Tessa's rainbow.

  9. Amazing what a little mani/pedi can do, isn't it? Your grandmother is a very wise woman.

  10. That is so sweet! Your grandmother sounds so adorable. =)

  11. Sweet tribute to your gram. Your nails look great too. I love the color.

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  13. What a gift to still have your grandmother! And that she is still such a force in your life. Love the nails!

  14. Your gran sounds like mine. I lost her when she was 92, she fell asleep. She was smartly dressed and manicured. Me? I was wearing the tea of three children in the form of a jumper and baggy jeans. I vowed that I would try and make an effort. I let it slip every now and then, but then I think of her and on goes the warpaint.

    Enjoy your Gram, and love her for noticing your nail colour, how wonderful!