Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Some new verses to the same old song

Today is my grandmother's 88th birthday. The nursing home that she currently is in happens to be right down the road from a wine store that I work with, so this afternoon it was easy for me to slip in and wish her a happy day in person. So around 3:30, card in hand, I went, ready to repeat the same conversations we've had for a while now.

"Who are you?"

"I'm Erin, your only granddaughter."

"Oh. You're a very beautiful woman."

(First time she's ever called me a woman.)

"Thank you."

"How long have I been here?"

"A little over a year."

"I don't remember. Don't get mad at me if I can't remember!"

"I won't. I promise."

"You're Erin Elizabeth."


"Yep," she mocked in a high-pitched voice. I didn't say anything.

"And you're Tommy's daughter?"


"Mm-hmm..." she squeaked. "Where do you work?"

"I work for a wine distributor."

"Do you drink wine?"



Now this was interesting. She wasn't saying it in an accusatory way, but in a teasing, mocking way. Which my grandmother has never done before. Even when she was lucid, she's never had a sense of humor or teased, has never corrected grammar, has never seemed to be thinking about much more than exactly what was on her own mind at that moment. So now, in her state of dementia/early Alzheimer's was she joking around, is she just now starting to notice/criticize things that most grandmothers would have years ago, or is sarcasm that she has kept inside for decades finally leaking out?

"Why are those balloons there?"

"Because it's your birthday, Grandma. You're 88 years old today."

"I'm not dead yet?"

"Nope, not yet."

"Well, when the Good Lord is ready for me, I suppose I'll go to heaven. I've been telling him that I'm ready for years!"

Now we were back in track. This is a refrain I've heard for most of my life.

"Well, I'm sure that won't be anytime soon, Grandma. You're very healthy." (I think I've been to the doctor more in the past year than my grandmother has.)

"Who are you?"


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home