I’m sorry to be so crude. I am crude all the time, but I try to shelter most people from it but give myself license when something big happens. (Of course if something really, really bad happened I would be too upset even to have the spirit left to be crude.)

My grandmother had a severe-ish stroke late last night. She seems dazed and not too responsive– awake, able to squeeze my dad’s hand with her left hand, lost function in her right arm and the rest of her body, not too happy, can’t eat, having to stay hydrated/fed through IV, not paying attention to much.

I count her as a true best friend, love her company so much, one of those people you’re glad you’re related to. She has her quirks but I share most of those. I really admire her and love her and she’s been a rock for me over the years.

I don’t even know what to pray for. I guess I don’t mind seeing her incapacitated, if she could just be happy, know her loved ones are around her, all that.

But old people have a kind of wisdom about when they will ‘go’, and she’s made some jokes over time– very, very funny ones, actually, at least if you have my family’s dark sense of humor or ability to laugh even or especially when things really suck– which led me to believe that she was pretty sure that’s how she’ll go, from healthy normal life straight to dead. And I really figured she had lots of truly good quality of life years left so I’m a little shocked at this turn of events.

She can still, of course. They just don’t know right now.

But her attitude is also what will be will be. I know my parents have it in good hands– although I wish I could be there with them, this is the kind of time when you HATE living so far from loved ones– as we always have, since I was five. They have our neighbor John who just lost his own mom and who took care of my grandparents like a son as they aged, until my parents moved up there– and now he is just like family too, a wonderful support.

She did all the right things– felt it coming on, took an aspirin and lay down, called my parents not too long later when it didn’t get better, the ambulance / fire dept. were there in a flash, the hospital got her right in– it sounds to me like it was going to be that severe regardless of what anyone did or didn’t do at that point. She’s had two CT’s and in between her calling the ambulance, getting admitted, and getting the two CT’s I guess the damage increased, and they’re doing another today and some physical therapy. They just don’t know anything right now.

I get my ‘whose fault is this and fix it this gd minute’ personality trait from my dad, who did search and rescue and EMT over the years, and my ‘there ARE right things to do about this to maximize chances best possible outcome so f-ing do it now’ trait from my mom, who also did EMT for a time and was a nurse for many years including ER, OR, ICU and SCU, so I know she’s getting the best.

Dad said he is doing okay, just fuzzy right now, sad and worried but reasonably at peace with waiting and confident she’s getting the right care. He is really wonderful in a true crisis. He really is. He is not sure she’d know me if I came up, but I am thinking that if there’s any chance my presence might help her either in terms of just knowing I love her and I’m there or maybe even in terms of the morale required to increase her recovery, I may go.

Thank God I prioritized this and sucked up the labor of love of our exhausting trip at Thanksgiving, when things were still happy and hopeful.

And of course they could be happy and hopeful again, maybe even without too much adjustment.

I’m not very knowledgeable about truly severe strokes and I just don’t know how much emotional, spiritual and physical comfort people can recover.

My grandfather on the other side of the family had one and they were able to use physical therapy and such to get him back to driving and all. There’s a lady at my library who had a stroke and is now relearning to read and all. Her attitude is wonderful, she is always sweet and pleasant with the kindest look on her face and word for everyone, but she’s younger, and I have no idea how severe it was. I had another online acquaintance who was nearly a vegetable from a stroke at 30ish, who actually recovered very, very well.

I don’t know what to do or think or hope or pray for.

She’s 83 and has been in excellent health– beat cancer and the loss of a kidney right after she was widowed about ten years ago. She has been very spry, independent, had a wonderful sense of humor, tells the best stories about the days I wish I could see– her life in Saugus MA as the child of Swedish parents during the depression, dressing up and being out and about with my officer grandfather, her clotheshorse sister who never went out of the house without immaculate makeup, dressed to the nines, and just the right accessories from her boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of jewelry, even my mom’s parents– the couples met and were friends for years before and after my parents married.

She did her own shopping and bills and driving and whatnot. I don’t particularly have her on a pedestal– we all have our issues. I just like her a lot. She’s been so good to me over the years, when I needed it, and dispensed a bit of tough love wisdom at times as well. I am so very interested in her worldview because of who she is and what she has seen, and it is amazing to watch someone continue to grow in wisdom and insight no matter how old they get. If I lose her I also lose a precious tie to another era– I just don’t want that.

She’s a tough old bird with a strong survival instinct. If things go bad now, she has been so philosophical and aware, saying that she is thankful for each day and has had a happy life.

Good Lord.

Back to our regularly scheduled Christmas programming. At least I already got the f*cking Wii and Rock Band Special edition ordered.