Saturday, October 20, 2007

A moment of clarity

So I was in El Paso last week doing some work, and on Friday I called my grandmother to say 'happy birthday.' She has dementia and is mostly incoherent. She is also in a home and it's tough to get her to not run around naked every night. That's why she isn't living with any of the family, though we offered to put her up out here in Nevada.

Anyhow, I was asking her how she was, and she was mumbling a bunch of incomprehensible phrases. I said that I had actually been in the state of Michigan a couple weeks ago for work, but was pressed for time and didn't get a chance to drop by. She asked me where else I've gone.

I mentioned a few of the more exotic locales (Korea, Trinidad) and she cut me off.

"If you get a chance to get out there and do something with your life, you take it. Don't be standing there with your finger in your ear. You don't want to be 88 years old in a home getting a call from your grandson on your birthday when you decide you want to do something."

I was a little shocked that she was capable of making any sense at all, so I didn't say anything for several seconds.

She then decided to start referring to me as "Joe D" (her son, my dad) and I knew that she was gone again. She went on about fingers and ears some more, but it was back to mostly nonsense.

There's a chance that I won't be able to make it back there to visit before she's gone, but I'm happy that I called her then. A few seconds of sensible conversation is more than what a lot of people have gotten from her in the last year.

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