I've had mortality on the brain this past week. My amazing super Gramma had open heart surgery on Tuesday. I talked about it with her this past Sunday, here's how
(Ring ring ring)
Gramma: Hi mija! What are you doing?
Me: I'm washing the dishes (I usually like to talk to people on the phone while I do dishes, it makes this awful process so much easier). What are you doing?
Gramma: Did you hear my news? Who told you?
Me: Yeah, I heard. (I hear shuffling like a broom sweeping a floor). Gramma are you cleaning?
Gramma: Yeah, I'm getting the house ready for when your aunt gets here, so she won't have to do too much. I'll have everything ready and I have my bills in order too.
Me: (That "bills in order" thing freaked me out). Don't you have any doctor's orders to rest?
Gramma: What? It's just a little bit, I'm almost done.
Me: So Gramma, what they're doing is just a test or more?
Gramma: First they're going to put a tube in me and see how blocked the valve is by putting ink in it. If it's bad then they will do open heart. Mija, how are they going to do the surgery on my heart if they have to do that? I hope they don't have to do that, I don't want them to break my ribs.
Me: (Doing my best to keep cool) Well Gramma, they're going to have a machine that will act as your heart and pump the blood for you. They'll have to break your ribs to get to your heart Gram, it's the only way for you to get better. These doctors do open heart surgery all the time and you're only getting one valve done. There have been people who have all of them done and turn out okay. Don't worry, you're going to be fine.
Gramma: Yeah, okay. I better get back so I can finish. Your aunt is taking me to the hospital early. Your sister and your mom will be there, you can call them. Or maybe you can get a tex mex from your sister.
Me: Okay Gramma. Don't worry, God will take care of you.
Gramma: I know. Bye mija!
Me: Bye Gramma.
And yes, I totally cry after I hang up. For the most part, my Gramma is tough as nails. For a split second she sounded worried but brushed it off quickly. And as I stated in the beginning of this, she did end up having to get open heart surgery but she is fine and is recovering quite well.
My sister did an amazing job with updates by text and the wait in between "Gramma is getting ready to go" and "Gram is out. Everything's good" was agonizing. I hoped and prayed for the best but there was this nagging tiny voice in the back of my head saying, "Can you leave in a moment's notice if you had to?" I looked up airfare and rental car pricing. I looked at our budget....even contemplated asking Mechanic Hubby what his company stance was on bereavement leave. Did they count Grandmothers in Law? Did it really matter. I was thinking about the amazing things my Gramma did in her life...kind of preparing for a eulogy. I don't know why I was robotically getting this ready in the outskirts of my mind instead of just sticking to my confident message that I knew that she would be fine and she would be able to put down "heart" on the list of surgeries she's had in her life, 14 including this one. Once I shook out of the downer daze I was in, I have this child like mentality going on in my head like, "My Gramma is going to live forever!" After that, I put the breaks on the "planning."
Thankfully, I won't have to plan for that for a really, really long time; I'd probably be a sobbing mess anyway.