Thursday, January 17, 2008


This is my grandmother's backyard on a sunny afternoon.

It seems unlikely that my 87-year old grandmother will ever see her home again, she has been in a medically induced coma since last week; after having surgery she suffered a heart attack and now has a severe case of pneumonia as well as renal failure- at the moment her lungs and kidneys are operating with machine assistance, if the pneumonia clears and her renal functions resume, the doctors might try to wake her up. She would be in terrible pain were she to awaken now, so it's best that she sleeps until the machines aren't needed any longer. If.
No one knows if her brain was damaged- there are signs of stroke but it's impossible to know for sure until -if- she wakes up. If.

I'm back at my apartment now, have been for a couple days- there isn't anything I can do at hospital except sit in the ICU and wait.
There's a person on a bed there and the tag has my grannie's name on it, but I barely recognize the tiny withered creature on the bed- it's hard to determine where all the tubes and machines end and the grandmother begins.
It's not how I want to remember her.

Back home, I'm trying to get my life back in motion but it's really hard to do- the phone rings a lot and I have to tell the same frustrating endless story over-and-over again, there isn't any "upside", it's a matter of really bad/dead...I appreciate their concerns but it's getting very hard to find comforting or optimistic things to say- the truth is that she will either die soon or she will die later- recovery of any sort is almost impossible at this point and her living will precludes (thankfully) being maintained in a vegetative state.

Many of my recent phone conversations have been marked by long, awkward silences.

I had a job interview this week with the old Bank- I can't believe they would have me again but stranger things have happened- it's for a short-term tax-season gig but the pay is at my 2000 level (almost double my 2007 rate) so I could save up a nice bit in the two months they will have me- if they hire me.
One more phone call that I'm waiting for...sigh. If.

Yesterday I made and enjoyed a fantastic meal: A juicy sirloin steak; baked potato; spinach salad and glazed carrots- the steak was provided by a friend I met through blog; eating it reminded me of something that I often forget- that most people are good and we often do what we can to help each other out- for instance, I haven't had any problem finding substitutes for my sorely-missed radio shows, despite my odd time-slot.
Likewise, I've had more than a few people offer financial help- luckily, I've been scraping by
(Magic cards are sold) but that doesn't lessen the gesture or make me less appreciative.
I know that some of you have been on one or more ends of the "give/receive" deal and I hope that you agree that it's a 'win/win' situation, free of shame or indebtedness.

In the past I've been somewhat reluctant to accept what one might call "charity", but that view has changed quite a bit as I have aged- the old adage "it's better to give than to receive" doesn't quite reflect the reality- what's "better" depends on circumstance- if times are bad, it's "better" to receive; if times are good, it's "better" to give, but it's really part of the same feeling- that warm fuzzy glow one gets when one realizes that we are all (or should be) on the same side. It's what makes humans...human.

Soon I'll return to politics, current events and cynicism, but for now I just want to say 'hello', 'thank you' and that I look forward to returning to life-and to blog- soon.


yellowdog granny said...

I'm sure this is not how your grandma wanted to go..I hope she is not on the machines much sad for you both...wish I was closer and could do more..I light candles almost every day...and the prayers do go out every day...hope you get the job...

angel said...

i think of you every day allan... i do hope the job at the bank works out for you, even if it is short term.
big cyber hugs and good thoughts dude...

Meira said...

Thinking of you . . .

Auld Hat said...

Allowing ourselves to need others, be it financial, emotional or whatever - gives the people in our lives who love us a chance to do something kind for us. Despite all the cynicism that is oh so easy for me to cling to (lazy mind), I do believe that when given the opportunity most people will choose kindness and compassion. I wish I could say anything that would make you feel better. But, feeling the IF's is part of life too. So I'll try to honor that by just saying this too shall pass. Hardly seems true at the moment, but it is.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...


It is better to give I think because being in a position to give means you have.

Receiving can be a great thing though because sometimes it is very much needed.

Allan said...

JS- We are still waiting, nothing has changed.
No job yet...rats rats rats...

Angel- I wuz thinking of you today too. (see playlist to follow)

Meira- Thank you

Hat- Are you sure you have a lazy mind? You sure do make a lot of sense to me.

Whim- Good points.