29 Nov

Thanksgiving was good around these parts – chilly but not cold – with all the outside appearances of ‘normal’.  Except it wasn’t.  Mom was up in New England with her Mom – my Nana.  And that sent everything into a different track than it usually is – how it’s ‘supposed to’ be.

Mom flew out on Tuesday – 3 days after my Nana’s Ischemic stroke.  Tuesday was good with Nana, as was Wednesday.  They moved her to a Rehab center because she needs physical, occupational and speech therapy.  Her right side – particularly her hand/eye coordination is diminished.  She knows words but her mouth won’t make them.  She forgets things easily.

Nana – ever feisty – ripped into my Mom, Uncle and Aunt on Wednesday.  She did not want to go to the Rehab center.  She was scared.  She wasn’t sure she’d ever go home again.

Thursday was the first round of true therapy.  Nana decided that the people at the Rehab center did know what they were doing.  She decided that she did need to be there.

And then she had another stroke.

What was going to be a 2 week stay has now turned into a month.  Or longer.  Her words are slurred and she is having trouble finding them. She demanded that my Mom and Uncle go get all of the “important papers”.  The deed to the house, the Will, get the lawyer on the phone.  Sign the DNR (do not resuscitate) paperwork.  Make decisions on Advanced Directives.

Hearing all of this on Saturday morning was rough.  Medically, I am very thankful that my Nana signed the DNR paperwork.  Working a code is brutal on the patient.  Bones shatter, the body is physically beaten, interventions are made that might prolong life in the ICU.  But for an 87+ year old woman, all those interventions are probably not going to work.  So I am relieved that my Nana has made the decision to ‘just let me go’ as she said.  Emotionally, it just flat out sucks.

My invincible Nana has hit a snag.  I have to face the fact that she’s mortal.  I don’t want to though.  She’s still my Nana – a woman of sweet voice, even and kind temperament and an iron will.

So this Thanksgiving was different.  My sister stepped up and did an amazing job cooking dinner.  I didn’t even really want to celebrate the day.  But I am incredibly thankful that my sister forced the issue and gathered us – my dad, my brother-in-law, me and her to the table.  It was wonderful to know that  this web that my Nana, the matriarch of my family, wove is tighter than ever.



Nana and me




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