Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A GRAND Evening

Tonight was truly memorable. A GRAND evening. All because of three sweet girls and a 93-year-old woman.

This summer, my grandma Ottilee has been very, very ill. She has declined quite a bit in the last few years, but over this past summer, she has rarely gotten out of bed. There have been times over the past week where I've been sitting right next to her and she didn't know who I was. She's called my mom "Mary" or "Mom" and has seen people in her closet. She has even thought I was on a boat in the pool in the back yard. As of two weeks ago, her nurses suspected she was bleeding internally and we didn't think she would live longer than a week. (Her hospice nurse told us to give her broth and morphine and make her as comfortable as possible.)

Well, one thing I know about my grandma...she rallies. She is a fighter.

My mom has a caregiver come to spend time with my grandma during the day, and my mom and dad are usually with her at night. My mom had a doctor's appointment out of town and asked if I would give Grandma dinner and hang out with her. I told my mom that wasn't a problem, and then I told my grandma that I would be "babysitting her" the next day.

Grandma got mixed up, and thought I had asked her to my house for dinner. My mom told her, "No, Dawn is going to come up and feed you dinner."

"NO!" my grandma insisted. "Dawn would like me to come to her house." She put on her fanciest purple outfit and asked her caregiver to curl her hair. This is even more adorable because my house is four houses down from my mom's house. Grandma was getting gussied up to go down the block. :)

Megan is staying with us right now while her parents are camping (she has dance practice in town), so Megan, the girls and I went to the store and bought all of the food that Grandma likes- chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and salad. On the way home from the store, Megan called Grandma to tell her that we were on our way to pick her up. (She can't walk four houses down to my house.) Grandma said she was ready, but asked, "Should I put on my bra?"

Megan replied, "Ummm....Yeah....probably..." and hung up the phone, cracking up. When we got to her house, I said, "Grandma, if you don't want to wear a bra, you don't have to..." to which she snapped, "What are you talking about?" and looked at us, puzzled. Megan and I looked at each other and shrugged.

It took about 20 minutes to get her into the car, down the street, out of the car, and into my house.

It took Grandma so long to get into the house that the screen door shut behind her while I was trying to block the dogs from getting out. "That door just hit my bottom!" she yelled, smiling.

We escorted her inside, and Emma asked to play the piano for her. Grandma sat next to the piano for her very own recital.
In the meantime, Megan and I put all of the food out to make it look fancy. Grandma likes to eat from a formal table setting, so we stuck the rotisserie chicken on a platter, and scooped the microwave mashed potatoes onto plates.

Once we sat down to eat, Grandma was in Heaven.
"You must have worked on this meal ALL DAY," she said.

"Why, yes!" we agreed, trying not to laugh. Emma looked guiltily in my direction, and I winked at her.

During dinner, we used our "table topic" box to pick some things to talk about. One of the questions was, "Would you rather spend one week in the future or one week in the past?"

Grandma said she would like to go to the past, back to when her kids were babies. My heart melted when she said that. I could imagine her a young mother, and I knew somewhere in her heart she still feels that way.

Toward the end of dinner, some neighborhood kids stopped by to give Emma and Grace these punching bag balloons they bought for them. Grace immediately blew hers up and began batting it around the table. To all of our surprise, when the balloon headed toward Grandma, she stuck her palm in the air and spiked it defiantly back to Grace. I thought I would never stop laughing.

After dinner, she hung out on the couch with Megan and the girls chatting and catching up.

After a while, she turned to the girls and said, "Bring me a puppy!" The girls brought her Sophie, and soon Olivia followed. The pugs know an animal lover when they see one.

Alas, it was the end of the party for Grandma, who tires easily. I took her home, and as I was getting her out of the car, one of the neighborhood girls ran into my parents' driveway and yelled, "She's OLD, right?"

Before I could say a word, Grandma answered, "Yes...VERY old!" and she gave her cane a little thump on the ground defiantly.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Oh Dawn...I loved this post. Just loved it. Such good memories for your girls and Megan. There aren't many gals out there who get to know their great granny so well.