Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Grandmother

Mimi is a beautiful woman. Approaching her late eighties she is still on the go, taking care of everyone as she always has. She has always taken especially good care of me. When I got a call last week to say she'd had a fall and had banged up her face I felt sick with worry. Worry for her health and safety, worry about anything coming along to limit her. I hurried to join one of my uncles at the emergency clinic that has treated our family for well over two decades. From gasoline inhalation to bladder infections they have always been there for us. There she was in her hospital gown. Her smashed up face was purple and black and blue and bloody. Seven crusty stitches defined her left eyebrow. Her left eye was swollen shut. Her cheekbone was cracked. I know she was glad to see me because tears somehow trickled from her swollen eye area. She took a moment to blot her tears and then, true to form, she proceeded to introduce me to her nurse as if we were at a luncheon! Later she offered to pay for the gas I used driving over. I should mention that she was actually pumping her own gas right before she fell on the concrete and was rescued by passersby who thought she was dead. And she'd been on her way back from visiting her sister in a nursing home an hour away. That is the thing about Mimi. She always thinks of others and does whatever she can for them. She is our matriarch. She may be a bruised matriarch, and my kids may find it scary to look at her, but to me she is beautiful and she is brave.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dad's Valve

My father has a new valve in his heart thanks to a pig and a surgeon. For seventy years that valve did its best though it was doomed to fail. It did its best as he took his first steps and through grammar school and basketball, bows and arrows and divinity school, through parenthood and teaching and carrying hundred pound bags of horse feed. Through many moves and a number of careers, grandfatherhood and divorce. For two weeks now the new valve has been working perfectly. I keep thinking about the fact that in surgery they stopped his heart and started it again. It is a beautiful thing to hear my father's wonderful voice, to know his heart is strong and for my remarkable father to have more time, more heartbeats.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Our marmalade colored cat likes to lie on my belly with his enormous double paws on my upper chest. He purrs wildly in my face,drools on me, then sleeps. Next come the dreamy twitches. He is pure love. How did he know to come to our house? How did he know how much I needed him? Was it simply the lure of the cat mint I'd planted in the back garden? Magic is both magical and beautiful.


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